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The Provisional Government of Korea

At the height of the independence movement, a provisional government of Korea was established in Vladivostok on March 21, in Shanghai on April 11, and in Seoul on April 21. The reason for such action in three different places almost simultaneously can be explained by the fact that the need for leadership was felt to be most urgent in the independence struggle.

The provisional government in Seoul, with all 13 provinces represented, proclaimed Korean independence, asking Japan to repeal its colonial system and withdraw its occupation forces from Korea. It called upon the Korean people to refuse payment of taxes to the Japanese government, not to accept trials by Japanese courts, and to avoid employment at colonial offices. A direct challenge was posed by the Seoul government against the entire Japanese colonial system.

The National Council of Korea in Vladivostok, when notified of the establishment of a provisional government in Shanghai, made efforts to integrate its activities with those of the Shanghai group. The latter passed a resolution calling for integration with the Seoul government. The first cabinet meeting was convened on November 4, marking the start of the functioning of the Provisional Government.

As a representative of the Korean people, and as their only independence organization abroad, the Provisional Government, despite financial difficulties and attempts at infiltration and suppression, did its best to fulfill the international obligations of the Korean government. It declared war on totalitarian Japan and provided close cooperation with the Allied Powers during World War II. For 27 years, until its return home on November 23, 1945, after the Japanese surrender, the Provisional Government strove to represent the Korean people.

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Information provided by the Korean Embassy

 


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