As printed in A HANDBOOK OF KOREA, 3rd-1979 and 9th-1993;
Published by the Korean Overseas Information Service


Kim Koo

The course of the Sino-Japanese War forced the Chinese Nationalist Government to move to Chungking, and in 1940, the Provisional Government of Korea as well had to move there. On August 28, 1941, the Provisional Government, in response to the declaration by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, issued a statement demanding recog­nition of the Korean government; military, tech­nical and economic assistance for the prosecu­tion of anti-Japanese campaigns; and Korean participation in deciding the fate of Korea after the war.

After Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Provisional Government of Korea set up a Euro-American Liaison Committee in Washington for the purpose of active diplomacy with European and American states. An aid agreement was concluded with the Nationalist government of China, and efforts were made to strengthen the internal organization of the gov­ernment. When the three powers, the United States, China and Britain, met in Cairo in 1943, Kim Ku of the Provisional Government sought the aid of Chiang Kai-shek, while Liaison Committee Director Syngman Rhee ordered Chong Han-gyong (Henry Chung) to go to Cairo to promote the cause of Korean independence. Upon the proposal of Generalissimo Chiang, the three powers agreed to include a call for Korea’s self-determination and independence in the Cairo Declaration.

In February 1944, the Provisional Government brought some leftist personalities into its fold and formed a sort of coalition cabi­net, with Kim Ku as chairman and Kim Kyu­shik as vice chairman. In February 1945, it for­mally declared war against Japan and Germany by taking part in active campaigns; altogether after 1943, more than 5,000 Korean troops joined the allied forces in military operations throughout the Chinese theater of war. Korean college students and youths drafted into the Japanese army deserted their units to join the ranks of China’s anti-Japanese resistance war. In the United States as well, a number of Korean immigrants volunteered for the U.S. Army to fight against the Japanese in the Pacific. Korean Communists in Kando, north­east Manchuria, also joined the Soviet Russian or Chinese Communists.

Topic description of Definitive Stamp No.1433; issued 1986.06.10:
Patriot Kim Ku (1876-1949), was born in Haeju, Hwanghae province. He entered into membership in the Conghak (a religious body) at the age of 18, leading the van of the local Donghak movement during the 1894 Donghak rebellion.

After the "Samil Independence movement", he exiled himself to Shanghai and helped to establish the Korean Provisional Government, serving in various important posts in it, and finally becoming its head in 1940. He organized the Korean Independence Army and led the Korean military resistance to Japan.

After the 1945 liberation of the country, Kim Ku returned home to Korea, where he organized the Korean Independence Party and led it in his struggle for the unification of North and South. In April 1948, he made a last attempt to bring about negotations between South and North, but he failed. He did not participate in the establishment of the Republic of Korea government and maintained political neutrality. He was assassinated at his home in Kyungkyo-jang, on June 26,1949.

The government posthumously awarded him the "Order of Chungiang" on March 1,1962 in recognition of his patriotic services for the independence of the country.

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