Politicians in Busan are calling for an investigation into the UN Monumental Tower, which allegedly looks like the Japanese Rising Sun Flag, a symbol of Japan’s imperialism.
The Busan Nam-gu local committee head Jung Jeong-bok of the Democratic Party held a press conference Monday and called for an investigation into the monument, located at the UN intersection in Daeyeon-dong.
The 16-strand memorial is said to resemble the 16 red sun rays flag used previously by the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy and now the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
“Unfortunately, the number of sunshine rays is not only the same but also has the short sunshine rays on the left and the long left deflection on the right,” he said to local media.
The local chapter of the Democratic Party said that it received an expert opinion that the tower resembles the Rising Sun Flag, and it will have to go through further expert inspection and a social agreement to raise the question and discuss taking the monument down.
The city of Busan reportedly said though while it may not be the intended design, if the fact-finding proceeds, it will decide whether or not to build a new monument to coincide with the proposed World Peace Park.
“The artist who created the UN Memorial Monument was 14 years old at the time of liberation in 1945. If we feel it was intentional, or if it is intentional, we will consider creating a new monument while creating a World Peace Park,” an official of the park management department in Busan said.
The United Nations Memorial Monument was created in 1975 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations under the 17th mayor of the Busan Park Young-soo.
The artist, Kim Chan-sik, died in 1997, so it is difficult to know the exact design intent and process.
Along with South Korea, 16 UN countries with combat forces made up the UN Forces in the Korean War as allied members of the UNC, while five others were on the ground offering humanitarian aid.