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남녘 | Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(3) Procedu…

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작성자 편집국 작성일17-12-07 14:30 댓글0건


Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(3)


III. Procedure for Investigation




Procedure for Investigation

Procedure of Petition and Method of Application

Procedure of Petition


Receipt of petition for investigations: Local government organizations (City, District, County and Province): Local governments receive petitions for investigation and checking details of the petition. Local governments are responsible for classifying these petitions into one of five classes assigned by the Commission. Local governments record petitions with their receipt register and issue a certificate of receipt.


Transfer of petition to the metropolitan city  or provincial level: A list of receipts    is made for each city, district, and county. The petitions and list of receipts are transferred without delay to the corresponding city or province holding the relevant jurisdiction.


Metropolitan city and provincial governments transfer of petitions to the Commission: The metropolitan city or provincial government prepares a list of petition receipts within its jurisdiction. The metropolitan city or provincial government transfers the petitions and the list of the receipts to the Commission without delay.


Receipt of the commission and numbering of the incidents: The Commission's receipt register records and files an incident number.


Decision to accept of deny initiating the investigation: The decision to accept or deny initiation of the case is made within 90 days after receipt by the Commission. In the case that it is deemed necessary to hold a preliminary investigation, it is possible that the decision period would be extended for 30 days or less. A decision to deny or accept a case is made only after careful review through deliberation and resolution by the Commission.


Initiation and activities for investigation: The Commission carries out on-site investigations and asks relevant institutions for data. The Commission hears statements from persons subject to the investigation, reference witnesses, or persons concerned.


Decision of truth-verification or non-verifiability of the truth by the Commission: A decision to find the truth is achieved through careful deliberation and resolution after reviewing the results of the investigation. There is no restriction on the time it takes to reach a decision to conduct an investigation.


Notification of decision to accept or reject an investigation: Lastly,  the  commission considers the feasibility of the investigation. Notification is given to petitioners within one week after the Commission reaches its decision. A petition



undergoing step 1 may be withdrawn before a decision of provisions at step 4. Regarding notification of a decision in steps 5 and 8, a petitioner, a person subject to investigation or a reference witness may raise an objection within 60 days.



Method of Application


Petition for investigation

Petitioner eligibility: Any person who is a victim, sufferer, or a bereaved family member. A person classified as having familial relations includes: a spouse, blood

relatives within a third cousinship, and relatives within cousinship under the provisions of Article 777 of the Civil Act. A petitioner can also be a person who has known specific facts regarding an investigation that has been conducted by the Commission. Such a person can be defined as someone who experienced or witnessed or heard second hand information about a past incident.

Period of petition: December 1, 2005 ~ November 30, 2006

Method of petition: Complete the petition form for truth-finding. Any petition shall be filed in written form, unless there are special circumstances that warrant filing of an

oral petition. The petition should be submitted to a local government entity (metropolitan city, district, county, and province) or directly to the Commission.


Receipt of Petition for Truth-finding

Responsibilities of the local governments (metropolitan city, city, district, county, and province): Checking details of the petition for truth-finding. Classifying the petition

into the corresponding category for investigation. Registering a petition into the receipt register. Issuing a certificate of receipt of the petition for truth-finding. Any received petitions as well as the list of receipts shall be transferred to the Commission daily.

Procedure for Obtaining a Receipt: With respect to an application of petition for truth finding, the oral statement shall be written, and after a petitioner reviews the contents of the petition, both the public official receiving the petition and the petitioner shall confirm the act by signing on the back page of the application.

City/District/County: Submission of petition to metropolitan city or province on the

same day of its receipt.

Metropolitan City/Province: Daily submission of a list of received petitions, subdivided by city, district, and county.

④  The   Commission:   Includes   into   the  receipt   register   the  submitted  petitions

transferred from local government organizations. Issues a case number to all petitions

transferred from local government organizations and to all petitions directly placed with the Commission and transfers the cases to the relevant committee.


Withdrawal of petition: The petitioner may withdraw his/her petition prior to the Commission reaching the decision to initiate or reject an investigation. The petitioner can do so by submitting a form of withdrawal of petition for truth-finding.







Investigation and Determination of Truth-Finding



Type of Investigation


Investigation by petitioner: Investigation for all petitions except those subject to rejection. A decision shall be made to initiate or reject within 90 days after the petition is received by the Commission. In the case that the Commission has sufficient support to admit the petition as a historically important event and considers the petition critical for identifying the truth, the Commission may exercise official authority to begin an investigation.


Independent investigation under the Commission's mandate: The Commission, subject to its own approval, has the right to launch an independent investigation into a case deemed to be historically significant and worthy of verification, especially when ascertaining the truth about a case is thought to be critical.

As of September 2008, the Commission decided to initiate independent investigations into eight cases, one of which includes the Bodo League massacres, a series of well-known massacres and presumably one of the most massive and organized mass killings in Korea. There are also three cases under preliminary investigation pending a decision to initiate an independent investigation. They include the case of contributions to national development by the Korean community in South America, the case of the national education of ethnic Koreans in Japan, and the case of the identification of the commanding officer responsible for the open-fire order on the May 18 Democratic Movement.

The Commission decided on October 10, 2006, that the Bodo League massacres would be investigated. Members of the Bodo League were detained and killed in penitentiaries across the nation before and after the Korean War. The Bodo League massacres were committed in a highly orchestrated manner, and the Commission determined that the massacres deserved investigation. Other massacres to be investigated by the Commission include the National Defence Army Incident and the Yeosu Suncheon Incident, massacres involving detainees and political prisoners in penitentiaries across the nation.

The Commission decided to investigate four other cases. Under the subcategory of the history of Korean expatriates, there is the case of the international introduction of Taekwondo and its enhancement of Korea's national prestige. Under the category of human rights abuses, there is the case of Oh Jong-Sang's violation of emergency measures, the case of the assassination attempt of August 15, and the case of the consolidation of the press in 1980.

Investigation of the Taekwondo case was filed by a petitioner requesting that the truth be revealed on the role of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and its contribution in raising Korea's reputation in the international community. On October 16, 2007, the Commission decided to initiate an investigation. It also decided to examine the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) since it contributed significantly to the popularizing of Taekwondo abroad, including Taekwondo's entry into the Olympic Games.



The Commission decided to investigate the other three cases in the human rights violation category due to the strong public interest value and their historical implications.



Decision of Rejection


The Commission shall reject a petition that falls under any of the following conditions: The contents of a petition do not fall within the scope of the matters subject to investigation by the Commission. The contents of the petition are deemed manifestly false or ill-founded. A petition contains facts identical to any other petition that has already been dismissed by the Commission. The Commission makes an exception for petitions that contain critical information not included in the previous petition.


The Commission may, subject to the above conditions, reject a petition even after an investigation had been initiated. The Commission, if it deems necessary before the investigation, may undertake a preliminary investigation to decide whether to initiate the investigation or not.



Initiation of Investigation


In the event a petition does not fall under the above conditions for rejection, the Commission must initiate and conduct an investigation without delay. The Commission, if it deems necessary before the investigation, may conduct a preliminary investigation to decide whether or not to initiate an investigation. If a preliminary investigation is deemed necessary, the decision to initiate or reject an investigation may be delayed up to 30 days.



Method of Investigation


Investigator: The investigator, in principle, means the Commission. The investigators of a case may comprise of one staff member designated by the Commission.


Prerequisites for investigation: A respondent or reference witness must submit a written statement. The respondent or reference witness must be present to hear the statement. The person or related entity/facility/organization involved must submit materials deemed relevant to the matters subject to investigation. Persons or related entities/facilities/organizations involved must refer relevant information to one another. An appraiser must be appointed and a request for a appraisal sent.


On-site investigation: If deemed necessary, a Commission staff member may conduct an on-site investigation in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act. The purpose of an on-site investigation is to investigate relevant materials or data as well as investigate institutions, facilities, or groups in any location deemed relevant to a past incident or the investigation. The Commissioner or its staff may request any party concerned in an on-site investigation to submit relevant materials or



articles and the party concerned is required to respond to the request without delay.


Submission of materials or data:    Any party concerned shall  respond without delay to a request for materials or data subject to investigation and shall not reject such a request without reasonable grounds. An exception may be permitted if the appropriate minister (a head of any related institution belonging to the President of the Republic of Korea and the National Assembly) submits an explanation within five days after the Commission's request for materials stating that information in the requested materials is classified and its announcement would endanger national security. Even in this case, the head of the relevant institution shall allow the Commission to inspect the materials, provided that the Commission does not disclose it to the public.

Any relevant institution that the commission requests materials from can reject the Commission's request, provided that it gives the Commission a valid explanation in detail. In the event that the Commission concludes that the explanation lacks reasonable grounds, under the powers vested by the Truth and Reconciliations Act, the Commission may issue an order for the submission of the materials.



Protection for Any Person Subject to Investigation


Protection of commissioner, investigator, or  cooperator:  No person  shall assault or threaten a commissioner or staff member, nor shall any person interfere with the investigation. No person shall assault or threaten an appraiser, nor shall any person interfere with the investigation. No person shall assault or threaten a reference witness. A person shall not suffer any disadvantage such as dismissal, suspension from office, reduction of salary, or transfer for cooperating with or providing related information in an investigation.


Duties of the Commission

The Commission shall prepare necessary measures to protect a reference witness or appraiser, secure relevant materials, and prevent any obstruction to the investigation. The Commission may provide necessary compensation or support to a person who obtains or submits critical materials for clearing up the truth in the investigation, and may recommend he/she be granted amnesty.

Protection of a person who is subject to investigation: A person shall not be misrepresented as a suspect in any newspapers, magazines, broadcast programs (including internet newspaper and broadcasting), and other publications solely based on a past position he/she held in an administrative, military, judicial, or other organization subject to the investigation. An exception may be permitted in a case that is proven factual and related to the public good. A person shall not disclose the contents of the investigation prior to reporting to the President of the Republic of Korea and the National Assembly.


Protection of an informant: If a participant or a person who found or submitted necessary information for the investigation is endangered or physically threatened, he/she may request the relevant institution for protection.




Mission of the Commission: The Commission shall prepare measures to protect the privacy and honor of the respondents during the investigation proceedings.



Opportunity to Give a Statement: The Commission shall provide a respondent, his/her spouse, lineal descendant, or concerned person with an opportunity to provide their own statement. A person who provides a statement may request to read the information in the investigation report and may appoint a lawyer.



Determination of Truth-finding


Determination of truth-finding: After the completion of the investigation and if the facts have been determined, the result shall be decided by resolution of the Commission. In case the Commission does not or cannot arrive at a determination of truth for an investigation, the Commission shall deem the case, along with its background, impossible to investigate.


Notification of determination and application for appeal

The Commission shall immediately provide notification of its decision to the relevant persons. Person subject to notification of determination include petitioners, respondents, and reference witnesses. In the event a petitioner or respondent of the investigation is dead or whose whereabouts is unknown, his/her spouse, linear ascendants or descendants shall be informed.

Contents of the notification include the decision, instructions for appeal, and other necessary details. Even if the case is deemed infeasible, persons subject to notification shall be notified. A person may appeal in writing to the Commission within 60 days after receiving the notification. With regard to objections, the Commission shall make a decision in writing without delay within 60 days after receipt.



Present Status of Investigations



The Commission has received 10,992 petitions in total: The Commission has completed investigations on 4,794 cases (45.2%), launched investigations for 5,969 cases (54.3%), reserved 28 cases (0.3%) and %) and is currently conducting preliminary investigations of 21 cases (0.2%).


The Status of Investigations (as of February 28, 2009)

(Unit: Cases, %)

Range of Investigations



Verified Cases

Investi gating

Pre- Investi gation

Reser vation

Sub- Total


Unveri- fied


Withdra wal

Trans ferred

Grand Total











































e Movement











History of



































































Civilian Massacres

























































Characteristic of Petitioners


Fact-finding is urgent as most petitioners are elderly

"Before my death, I wish to see the results of the truth-finding. I don’t want to pass down my pain to my children."

It is vital that the Commission conducts fact-finding investigations as urgently as possible. Most of the petitioners or bereaved family members of the victims are elderly or suffering from illness, as well as many of the witnesses and offenders. Since most of the incidents occurred a long time ago, if fact-finding activities are delayed, it becomes increasingly difficult to find specific witnesses and concrete evidence.

Among the total of 10,860 petitioners, 3,166 petitioners (29.2%) are more than 70 years old. This indicates that nearly one-third of the petitioners are elderly with 24 petitioners (0.2%) over 90 years old; 530 petitioners (4.9%) over 80 years old; 2,612



petitioners (24.1%) over 70 years old; and 4,591 petitioners (42.3%) over 60 years old.

There are concerns about the expediency of the petition process. 13 petitioners passed away while waiting for decisions on their appeals. The story of one such petition was published in a New York Times article on 11 March 2007 entitled "South Korea Reviews Its Dark Past, but the Pace is Slow":

Under the auspices of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by the government of President Roh Moo-hyun at the end of 2005, investigations are under way. Verdicts are being reviewed and in some cases have been overturned. But on Feb. 25, the Venerable Bogwang died, apparently of natural causes, at his hillside monastery... His death, at 57, was a reminder of the painfully slow progress the Roh government is making in delving into the country’s tumultuous history, and what a political minefield the past remains in South Korea.

In this respect, active cooperation amongst governmental agencies in Korea is essential in order to expedite the truth-finding investigation process.



Age range of petitioners (Unit: Persons, %) as of November 20, 2006





20 ~



30 ~



40 ~




50 ~

59 Yrs


60 ~

69 Yrs


70 ~

79 Yrs

80 ~



Over 90



Un- known























National Independence











History of












































Massacres by






















Opposing the











Legitimacy of











the ROK











Human  Rights Abuses
























Age category distribution chart





List of Cases for Truth-Finding


Independence movement against the Japanese and the history  of  Korean expatriates in colonial times: A total of 16 cases were investigated in these categories. Independence movement cases have already been administered by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans' Affairs, and cases related to the history of Korean expatriates were relatively rare with only 16 petitions filed with the Commission. The Commission decided to investigate five of the 16 requests.


Groups opposing the legitimacy of the ROK: A total of 196 cases were investigated in this category. Enemies were categorized by the government into the North Korean Army, local leftists, and local communist guerrillas, but their division is unclear.


Massacres: Among 7,802 petitions, 1,461 cases have been investigating in this category. Categorized in detail, there were 389 cases related to the Bodo League massacres, 106 cases related to preventive detention, 146 cases related to the Yeosu-Suncheon Incident, 20 cases related to the U.S. Air Force bombing Incident, and 800 cases related to the police and military massacres of pro-Communist collabora





Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(2) Introduction to the commission

Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years (1) I. Historical Background of Korea's Past Settlement

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