My friend Dr. Kim Sung-soo (“Steven”) is one of my heroes. He was in charge of international coordination for Korea’s national Truth and Reconciliation commission. Much of the thought that has gone into TRACK has been influenced by him. In addition, Ross Oke, a dear adopted friend and TRACK founder whom I’ve known since about 2005, worked as an English proofreader on this commission.
The English version of this book detailing massacres and abuses of public power was banned when Lee Myung-bak became president. The new head of the TRC who was put in place by the president said it was because the translation was bad. There is nothing wrong with Dr. Kim’s English! He has been certified by Ewha University as having the highest translation ability possible. The real reason they banned it is because of politics, and because the people who are in power now are the same people who committed these abuses years ago. They are trying to hide the real history.
Dr. Kim is still embroiled in a lawsuit against the last head of the TRC. The translators won the first round, and now it is in the appeals process. Dr. Kim told me that the last head even produced forged documents to the court!! Luckily Dr. Kim had saved the documents so he could produce real ones. But the outcome does not look optimistic now that Park Geun-hye will be the next president, and many of these abuses of public power occurred during her father’s reign.
Dr. Kim has worked exceedingly hard for adoptees over the years. Here you can see him interviewing a guest a KoRoot. He does this regularly to help with birthfamily search.