Gabby Schultz ‘20 April Revolution, South Korea 1960

Gabby Schultz ‘20
April Revolution, South Korea 1960

 

Gabby Schultz


Hometown: Wolverine, Michigan
Year: Third-year (junior)
Concentration(s): Social Studies and Philosophy
MUN Experience: HMUN and HNMUN Boston, HMUN India, HNMUN-LA
Extra-curriculars: First-Year Outdoor Program, Harvard Undergraduate Political Consulting, Y2Y Homeless Shelter, Resistance School
Hobbies: Yoga, hiking, photography, Instagram
Favorite Harvard Team Member: Yash

Topic: April Revolution

On April 19th, 1960, the streets of Seoul, South Korea erupted with protests as students from all over the country flooded the capital to voice their dissent against the fraud perpetrated by the government in the recent presidential elections. Just one month before, in March of 1960, Syngman Rhee, the first president of South Korea, ordered the arrest and detainment of many of the politicians that opposed him. In the subsequent presidential elections, Rhee was reported to have won 74% of the National Assembly’s votes.

After the results of the election were announced to the public, a protest against electoral corruption took place in Masan. The protest quickly turned violent and a bloody clash ensued between police and protesters. A few weeks after the Masan protests, the body of a protester who was reported missing after the riots turned up in the Masan Harbor, news that was heavily censored by Rhee’s regime. This sparked the April 1960 riots that led to the exile of Syngman Rhee, the flight of many high-ranking government officials, and political turmoil that would momentarily envelop South Korea.

The April Revolution committee will consist of the president, his successors, high-ranking South Korean officials, influential diplomats, and citizen leaders of the protests under the oversight of the committee chairman. The committee will be tasked with handling the April Revolution and its consequences, forcing delegates to balance diplomatic negotiation tactics and historical feasibility.