During the Japanese colonial era, some independence activists moved to other countries such as China and Russia and continued the independence movements there to avoid Japanese surveillance and announce Korean independence to the world. However, it was very difficult to engage in the independence movements with little support in such.
In this situation, Choi Jaihyung actively led the independence movement by supporting the Korean righteous army with the personal wealth he collected in Russia, and often led the Korean army directly. Plus, Choi Jaihyung published Korean newspapers such as Daedong Press and Gwonjup Newspaper, and formed an association called DongUiHoe to unite the anti-Japanese righteous army forces that were scattered in Russia at that time.
Choi Jaihyung also supported Ahn Junggeun, who shot Ito Hirobumi in Harbin. The advanced gun used by Ahn Junggeun was given to him by Choi Jaihyung, and Choi Jaihyung also provided information and funds for the shooting.
Choi Jaihyung, who was called ‘Pechka’, the Russian word for a warm stove used in cold land, established a Korean school in Russia to educate children and became a strong supporter of the independence activists abroad. However, Choi Jaihyung was ultimately arrested by Japan and died without trial.
“My comrades! It is sad that we strongly pledge not to avoid bullets, but to move forward drawing the independence flag with our blood and joining our hearts as one.”
“Today, it is most important for us to be educated first, strengthen our patriotism, develop our knowledge and skills, and organize and unite together.”
Let’s remember Choi Jaihyung, the leader who served as the godfather of the independence movement in Siberia and as a stepping stone for the independence movements abroad.