[KS] Brian Hwang's Discussion Question (Tae Gyun Park)

Eugene Y. Park epa at sas.upenn.edu
Mon Apr 16 01:56:26 EDT 2012

Dear all,

My contribution here is strictly anecdotal rather than research-based. 
Two my of my relatives (i.e. my grandmother's younger first-cousins) 
both volunteered (chawo(n, ??) and both came from families that were 
financially struggling. At the time, both were active-duty soldiers in 
the ROK army. One did end up going to Vietnam and died when the 
helicopter that he was on was shot down. Another one, whom I got to chat 
with about all this last summer, told me that he volunteered to go to 
Vietnam as promised incentives were very attractive to him, but somehow 
he got rejected when he applied.


Eugene Y. Park
Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History
Director, James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies
University of Pennsylvania

On 4/15/2012 10:34 PM, don kirk wrote:
> By "forcefully mobiilized in combat units," you mean they were 
> draftees whose units were sent there, right? That would make sense 
> since two big divisions were in Vietnam, the White Horse and the 
> Tiger. Wouldn't think all or most of them would have been "volunteers" 
> though special forces may have been mostly volunteers, not sure. 
> (Korean forces in Vietnam totalled 50,000 or more troops much of the 
> time. The term "forcefully mobilized" would seem to be another term 
> for drafted. All young Korean men were subject to the draft. Still are 
> -- though some think of ways to avoid it.)
> Don Kirk
> --- On *Sun, 4/15/12, tae gyun park /<tgpark3 at gmail.com>/* wrote:
>     From: tae gyun park <tgpark3 at gmail.com>
>     Subject: Re: [KS] Brian Hwang's Discussion Question (Tae Gyun Park)
>     To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
>     Date: Sunday, April 15, 2012, 6:21 PM
>     Dear Brian,
>     There is an interesting documentary, "Black Sergeant Kim returning
>     from Vietnam"(no.77, 2004) in "I can say now (Ijeneun Malhalsu Itda)"
>     series, produced by MBC in South Korea, for which I was an adviser.
>     According to interviews in the documentary, most of the Korean
>     soldiers in Vietnam were not volunteers, but were forcefully mobilized
>     in combat units. Of course, there were volunteers in Korean combat
>     divisions in Vietnam. I do not have any statistics, unfortunately.
>     Best,
>     Tae Gyun Park.
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