SEOUL-- South Korea's government on Tuesday announced an updated list of victims of a 1948 government-civilian clash on the southern island of Jeju, a step to restore the honor of the victims long labeled as "commies."
A government panel, dedicated to verifying the truth behind the so-called Jeju April 3 incident, put the total number of victims at 14,232 and that of the bereaved family members at 59,426. The designated victims can receive a monthly subsidy of 300,000 won (US$268.90).
The list was announced after the panel canceled its previous recognition of four victims who acted as part of a communist group.
The panel, currently headed by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, has held a total of 21 plenary sessions to verify the victims since it was launched in 2000 in efforts to restore the victims' honor and help enhance their human rights.
The incident refers to a deadly clash during a government crackdown on protesters who denounced the rule of the then-U.S. military government and separate elections in the South, which they said would perpetuate national division.
After its liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, the Korean Peninsula was divided into the U.S. military-controlled South and the Soviet Union-backed communist North.
The protests lasted until 1954, one year after the three-year Korean War ended in a truce. Many victims in the clash were derided as communists when the South was in the thick of an anti-communism campaign.
Tuesday's panel session came as the new Moon Jae-in government seeks to address unresolved historical issues as part of its major policy tasks to promote national cohesion and forge a future-oriented social atmosphere.
Source: Yonhap News Agency