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Korean students remember journey taken by Korea's Provisional Government 100 years ago Updated: 2019-08-14 10:02:20 KST

In this quiet corner of Chongqing, in China's southwest, a crowd of excited students walk into the city's narrow alleys.
Their destination is the site of the Korean Provisional Government during Japan's colonial rule of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

Chongqing is where the provisional government stayed for the last five years until Korea was liberated at the end of World War Two.
The provisional government was established in 1919, but they had to hide first from the Japanese soldiers and later also from the dangers of wartime, so ttraces of them are hard to find.
But among all the sites, this one is the most well-preserved.
One-hundred young leaders from Korea have come here to see where the modern foundation of their country was established, something they find inspiring and overwhelming.

"Seeing the chairs, the office and the beds our ancestors used while working for our independence I felt a mix of feelings. They fought so hard for our country despite the tough environment. It's because of them, that we are where we are today."

In celebration of the 100th anniversary, South Korea's foreign affairs ministry organized this trip so the young leaders of Korea can follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.
Starting from Chongqing, the students went in reverse order to six Chinese cities that hosted the Korean provisional government.

These include the city of Jiaxing, which was the refuge of the provisional government's leader, Kim Koo.
Also, the memorial halls and memorial parks of the fallen heroes.

"It's very different from what I read in books. Seeing these historical sites in reverse order also showed us what an unfavorable environment and situation our ancestors first started in."

In between cities, the students were also entertained with various cultural performances and talks that helped them better understand the history.

One of those was a talk with the families of the independence fighters.
Lee So-sim, daughter of Lee Dal who worked against against Japan, fought very hard for the restoration of the Chongqing complex.
And during her talk to the students, she stressed that history must not be taken for granted.

"Korea has prospered like it has thanks to the sacrifices of the provisional government. But it seems like not many remember the history. For Korea to become a greater country, we must not forget the bloodshed by those activists. That's what I wanted to share with the students."

Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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