The Korean ethnic group is the main ethnic group in North Korea and South Korea, and has lived on the Korean Peninsula for a long time. However, the Korean Peninsula is not the only place where the Koreans live. There are about 7 million overseas Korean compatriots scattered all over the world, in about 160 countries, mainly in China, Russia, the United States, Japan and Central Asia.
The reasons why Koreans migrated to different countries are very different. Some of them moved voluntarily for economic reasons, and some were forced to move for political reasons. The 350,000 North Korean immigrants in Central Asia belong to the latter. They did not voluntarily immigrate to Central Asia. They were forced to migrate due to the political and economic environment at the time. They were inseparable from the corrupt rule of the Joseon Dynasty, the aggression and oppression of the Japanese Empire, and the forced immigration policy of the former Soviet Union.
What kind of relationship does the Korean people have with the former Soviet Union? Why were they deported to Central Asia?
There have been three unification dynasties in the history of the Korean peninsula. The first was when Silla unified the three Koreas; the second was when the Goryeo dynasty ended the "post-three kingdoms" situation; the last was when Lee Sung-gyu overthrew the Goryeo regime and established the Lee dynasty (1392) -1897).
The Lee dynasty ruled the Korean peninsula for more than 500 years. Although it ruled for a long time, the regime was not stable in the later period. Because the dynasty was divided seriously, party disputes frequently occurred, and many coups broke out. The most famous in modern times is Jiashen. coup.
In 1884, the Civilization Party launched the Jiashen coup with the support of Japan. Although the Qing Dynasty sent troops to suppress it successfully, it gave Japan an equal opportunity in Korea. Because Japan took the opportunity to sign a North Korean troop withdrawal treaty with the Qing Dynasty. To inform the other party was equivalent to weakening the Qing suzerainty over Korea and paved the way for the Sino-Japanese War of Jiawu.
The Dongxue Party uprising was the fuse of the Sino-Japanese War of Jiawu. Corruption was serious during the period of the Li dynasty. In order to solve the financial crisis caused by the deficit of the treasury, the rulers formulated the land administration, military administration, and the return of grain and other harsh tax systems. The peasants caused the peasants' lives to be miserable. Therefore, in order to oppose imperialism and feudalism, the peasants organized an uprising of the Dongxue Party.
Due to the large scale of the uprising, the Joseon Dynasty was unable to resist and asked the suzerain government of Qing Dynasty for help. As a result, after Qing Dynasty sent troops to quell the rebellion, Japan used this as an excuse to launch the Sino-Japanese War of Jiawu. In the end, the war ended with Japan's victory. Chinese power was removed from the Korean Peninsula. After that, Japan strengthened its control over the Korean Peninsula and accelerated its colonial aggression.
It was against this background that the Korean people immigrated to the Russian Far East. In addition to the political situation of internal and external troubles, part of the reason was the great famine in the north. The Korean Peninsula is a mountainous terrain. More than 70% of the land is mountain plateaus. The arable plains are only a few scattered areas, and they are scattered among the mountains, making them unsuitable for large-scale farming.
Moreover, after the establishment of the Lee Dynasty, the population of North Korea has been growing, from 4 million in the 16th century to 17 million in the late 19th century, forming a barren land with a dense population. In addition, frequent natural disasters in the north have caused great famines, so in order to escape the harsh living environment, the North Korean people began to migrate to neighboring countries one after another.
Their first choice for immigration is China, but the Qing government was implementing a closed-door policy at the time, imposing a very strict ban on the Northeast region and not accepting North Korean refugees who have repeatedly committed violations. Therefore, those Koreans whose migration has been hindered, set their immigration goals more. Easy to accept their own Russia.
Originally, the territories of North Korea and Russia were not connected. The situation changed after Russia's eastward expansion. The driving force that drove Russia to explore eastward came from fur, because Europe has a great demand for fur, and Siberia in the east is rich in fur. In order to occupy Siberia and obtain huge profits from the fur trade, Russia began its eastward expansion since the 16th century.
Later, the Western European fur market shrank, and Russia focused on opening up Far Eastern trade. In order to find an ice-free port in the Far East, he invaded Northeast China and forced the Qing Dynasty to sign the unequal treaties "Beijing Treaty" and "Aihui Treaty", occupying the south of Waixing'anling, the north of Heilongjiang, and the east of Wusuli River (including Sakhalin Island) has a territory of about 1 million square kilometers, with the Pacific Ocean mouth of Vladivostok, making China, Russia, and North Korea adjacent to the territories, and the Koreans have the geographical conditions to move to the Russian Far East.
In order to consolidate its rule in the outer northeast, Russia urgently needs labor to develop the Far East. It promulgated immigration regulations and allocated land to attract Tsarist Russian residents to move to the east. At the beginning, many people rushed to the land, but the migration was a long way. In addition, Russian farmers did not understand the local planting conditions. The low grain production affected the border supply. Gradually, no one wanted to move to the east. So the group of people who fled North Korean border residents are "just rain" for Russia.
Because the North Koreans can not only fill the labor force in the Far East, but also solve the problem of grain production, so Russia has begun to attract them with substantive benefits such as "providing houses for housing under Russian law protection." At first, not many Koreans flowed into the Russian Far East, only more than 10,000. It was not until Japan annexed the Korean Empire that Korean immigrants in the Russian Far East began to explode.
Japan's national policy at the time was the "mainland policy." The purpose of occupying the Korean peninsula was to invade China and finally dominate the entire Northeast Asia, which happened to be essentially the same as Russia's Far East policy. After the Sino-Japanese War, Japan forced the Qing Dynasty to sign the Shimonoseki Treaty, an unequal treaty. The treaty not only ended the vassal relationship between North Korea and the Qing Dynasty, but also forced China to cede Liaodong and other places. Russia was worried that Japan’s annexation of the Liaodong Peninsula would affect its presence in the Far East. Together with Germany and France, they interfered in returning the Liao Dynasty.
After the three countries interfered and returned to Liaoning, North Korea discovered that Russia's comprehensive national power was stronger than Japan. In order to find a new umbrella, North Korea took the initiative to approach Russia, and the Korean peninsula began to become the home of the Russian-Japanese game. Under the confrontation of pro-Russian and pro-Japanese forces, the Joseon Dynasty has successively erupted in the Yiwei Incident, the Chunsheng Gate, and the relocation of the Russian Pavilion. Finally, when the Japanese influence was weakened, the Joseon Dynasty returned to the Joseon Palace from the Russian Embassy and changed. The name of the country proclaimed itself emperor and established the "Korean Empire" (1897-1910).
In order to control the Korean peninsula independently and realize the mainland policy, Japan broke out the Russo-Japanese War (1904) with Russia. During the war, Russia was in a situation of internal and external troubles, because not only a revolutionary movement occurred in the country, but also a very serious financial crisis. In addition, the armament was relatively backward, and the military power was basically concentrated in Europe. Therefore, Russia had some problems when confronting Japan. Powerless.
Japan had the support of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance at that time. Because Russia’s Far East expansion had long aroused dissatisfaction with the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom and Japan joined together to form the "Anglo-Japanese Alliance", which not only put pressure on Russia during the war, but also provided Japan with arms. And capital, so that Japan has the strength to fight a protracted war with Russia, so the result of the Russo-Japanese War is Japan's final victory.
After the Russian forces withdrew from the Korean Peninsula, Japan forced the Korean Empire to sign the "Korea-Japan Merger Treaty" (1910), which initiated a series of economic plunder and colonial oppression on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean people began to flee politically, and the Russian Far East once again became one of its refuges. During this period alone, there were about 100,000 Koreans who poured into the Far East. They gathered in Vladivostok and developed Vladivostok into a North Korean anti-Japanese base.
In order to combat Japan's Far Eastern forces, Russia acquiesced in the anti-Japanese behavior of North Korean immigrants, so more and more North Koreans moved to eastern Russia in order to engage in independence movements. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917, many Koreans joined the ranks of the revolutionary army, became socialists and participated in the struggle against Japan and the country.
Until the establishment of the Soviet regime, North Koreans did not stop their migration, and gradually developed into the largest ethnic group in Vladivostok, with a population of around 200,000 at its peak. There were no North Korean immigrants in Central Asia at that time, and the North Koreans were unwilling to live in the past. The Far East was their inner home. It was the forced immigration policy during the Soviet era that led to this group of Far East North Korean immigrants being deported to Central Asia.
Before the Second World War, the Soviet Union was the only major socialist country, and it was in a relatively dangerous situation. There was the possibility of war with other powers at any time, especially Japan. Because Germany, Japan and Italy signed the "Anti-Communist International Agreement" under the banner of anti-Communist and anti-Soviet in order to fight for world hegemony, and directed the spearhead of the war against the Soviet Union.
The reason why the Soviet Union feared Japan was also because Japan gradually established the hegemony of the Far East after the Russo-Japanese War. Northeast China and the Korean peninsula were occupied by Japan, and these invaded places bordered the eastern border of the Soviet Union. So the Soviet Union was worried at the time. His own territory was violated by Japan.
For the Soviet Union, the North Koreans living in the eastern border area are like a "time bomb" because their large population is not conducive to control, and they also have their own settlements, and there is the possibility of autonomy; plus Japan's Far East The espionage activities are very active, and the North Koreans look similar to them. The Soviet Union finds it difficult to distinguish them. They feel that they are easily bought by the Japanese and do things that collude with the enemy and endanger the national interests of the Soviet Union.
In order to prevent trouble before it happened, the Soviet Union moved the Koreans out of the border on the grounds of national security when the situation in the Far East was turbulent (that is, Japan launched a full-scale war of aggression against China) and settled in the Central Asian region behind. About 170,000 Koreans were forced to relocate to Central Asia in 1937, about 95,000 moved to Kazakhstan, and 75,000 moved to Uzbekistan.
Humanitarianism was not considered during the migration process, but the North Koreans were intensively packed in trains carrying goods and livestock. In order to avoid the occurrence of settlements, after arriving in Central Asia, they will be exiled in stages and will not be grouped together. Moreover, the long distance was not considered before the migration, and the food and clothing prepared were few. As a result, many elderly and children could not bear the cold and hunger and died on the train.
In addition to political reasons, the reason why the Soviet Union deported North Koreans to Central Asia was selfish. Because of the vast territory of Central Asia, a lot of uninhabited land has not been used. The Soviet Union wanted to develop Central Asia into farmland and develop agricultural land to expand the acreage of rice and grain, so it put Koreans who were good at farming there.
In addition, between 1930-1933, a great famine broke out in Kazakhstan, killing 1.5 million locals, accounting for about a quarter of the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and some of them migrated to China in order to escape, so the population of Kazakhstan is very small. The arrival of the North Koreans can just fill this vacancy.
The Korean ethnic group is not the only ethnic group forced to be expelled by the Soviet Union. After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, ethnic groups such as Chechnya and Ingushetia were also collectively exiled to Central Asia. The difference is that the former was deported to Central Asia to solve the worries about the border, while the latter cooperated with fascists during the war between the Soviet Union and Germany, and was named a "betrayal nation" by the Soviet Union, and was finally exiled to Central Asia.
Therefore, the immigration status of North Koreans is quite special. Although they are not subject to the control of labor camps like "betraying the nation," their words and deeds are still being monitored by the concentration camp authorities. Because they were subject to administrative expulsion, their citizenship was restricted, they were forbidden to move to other border areas of the Soviet Union, and they could not communicate in Korean, so their descendants almost lost the ability to speak the Korean language and only spoke Russian.
At the beginning of the migration of North Koreans to Central Asia, they basically lived in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Judging from the conditions of these two places at the time, they could not accommodate so many immigrants. Because of the serious lack of housing conditions and health care, some North Korean immigrants can only live in barracks or animal shelters, and their living environment is extremely poor. They did not start to improve until the collective farms were rebuilt.
At that time, nearly half of the North Koreans were placed in collective and state-owned farms to grow rice, cotton, vegetables and other crops, while the rest were arranged in urban factories.
After the North Koreans in Central Asia engaged in agricultural production, they cleared a lot of land, which not only increased the sown area of food crops, but also increased the productivity of new industrial crops such as cotton, and gradually developed collective farms into large-scale agricultural production centers, which contributed to Central Asia’s economy getting bigger. There are about 100 North Korean farmers in Uzbekistan who have won the title of hero of socialist labor.
In addition, many Koreans from Central Asia joined the army during World War II. The most famous was Alexander Min. He died heroically during the battle against the Nazis and became the only Korean soldier to be named a hero by the Soviet Union.
Through their own efforts, the North Koreans slowly cleared the suspicion of collaborating with the enemy and gained a foothold in Central Asia. In addition, after the new leadership of the Soviet Union took office, all the peoples who were forced to rehabilitated at that time were rehabilitated, and the ban on "North Koreans must live in the place of settlement for 5 years and cannot move to other places" was lifted, and their citizenship rights were gradually restored.
It was from this time that the Korean ethnic group moved to other central Asian republics. According to statistics from the 1989 census, Kyrgyzstan has 18,000 North Korean immigrants, while Tajikistan has 14,000 North Korean immigrants.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, five independent and sovereign countries emerged in Central Asia. The main ethnic groups of these countries aroused “ethnic self-centeredness” in the early days of independence and discriminated against the ethnic minority Koreans. After losing their Soviet citizenship, the Koreans living in Central Asia fell into the confusion of their national identity.
They can’t tell whether their historical motherland is North Korea, South Korea or Russia. In addition, their Korean language has deteriorated seriously. The people of North Korea and South Korea also hold a cold attitude towards them. Therefore, after the independence of Central Asian countries, the Koreans have not been like other Only a small part of the ethnic groups who were forced to move back to their homeland returned to Russia, and most of the remaining people chose to stay in Central Asia to rejuvenate their own ethnic groups, and established multiple ethnic cultural organizations in Central Asia.
The "Koryo people of Central Asia" were officially named during this period. The reason why they are called Korean people is to distinguish between the national names of North Korea and South Korea and to maintain a neutral position in the relationship between North Korea and South Korea. In fact, from an emotional point of view, the Koreans in Central Asia are more inclined to North Korea, because most of their ancestors came from the northern part of the Korean peninsula, and North Korea had diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was the historical “mother country” of the Koreans. The feelings are more complicated.
But from an economic point of view, the national cultural organizations of the Koreans in Central Asia have received funding from many Korean companies. The reason why South Korea supports them is to use the relationship of the Koreans in Central Asia to expand the Central Asian market. Russian, Central Asian Koreans are the only overseas North Koreans who can speak Russian. Therefore, South Korea has used funding to close the relationship between the two sides, and in order to help some Central Asian Koreans who want to "return home" to obtain Korean nationality, it has revised The sibling law included the fourth generation of Central Asian Koreans in the scope of certification.
From 1937 to the present, the Koreans have multiplied and survived in Central Asia for four generations. Excluding the "returning to Korea and Russia population", there are still about 330,000 Koreans living in Central Asia.
In politics, although their status is not as high as that of the main ethnic group and they rarely serve as senior officials, they have at least basic civil rights and can engage in political activities. In terms of economics, they have always been in the middle and upper reaches, because these Koreans are not only engaged in agricultural production, but also involved in a lot of commercial activities. They have established many large enterprises and affected the overall economy of Central Asia, so they have always been right. Central Asian countries are grateful.
Moreover, the younger generation of Central Asian Koreans did not understand the forced deportation in 1937. During the Soviet era, it was not allowed to talk about or write about immigration. Therefore, the events of the year did not leave traces in any written form. Through oral transmission from generation to generation, the pain that has been experienced in national history has long been forgotten.
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