Sunday, March 1, 2015

S. Korean submarine to be named for female student tortured by Japanese

From The Korea Herald
Feb. 28, 2015
A new submarine for the South Korean Navy will be named after a revered independence fighter, military officials said Sunday.

The Navy announced that its sixth Type 214, 1,800-ton attack submarine will be named after Yu Gwan-sun (1902-1920), a female student activist who played a major part in the 1919 civil uprising against Japan’s colonial regime.

“After holding policy meetings over the name of the submarine, we’ve christened it ‘Yu Gwan-sun,’” the Navy said in a statement.

“This will be the first submarine bearing a woman’s name in the 70-year history of the Navy.”

The Navy added that the naming came at an appropriate time to commemorate Yu’s contribution. The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversaries of Korea’s liberation and the 95th anniversary of Yu’s passing in prison.

The official naming ceremony will be held at the end of April, when the submarine will be unveiled, the Navy said.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. is constructing the submarine, which will be delivered to the Navy in November 2016 following test runs.

According to the Navy, the submarine will be deployed in anti-vessel and anti-submarine operations. It will be equipped with an indigenous submarine-launched cruise missile, called the Haeseong, with a range of 1,000 kilometers, along with torpedoes.

The Navy said the sub’s maximum underwater speed is 20 knots, and it can travel between South Korea and Hawaii without refueling.

The diesel-powered submarine will be operated by Air Independent Propulsion, which bolsters the vessel’s submerged endurance and allows the crew to carry out underwater missions for up to two weeks without access to atmospheric oxygen.

Yu is an iconic symbol of the March 1 independence movement.

The Japanese arrested the teenager and sentenced her to seven years in prison, where she died at age 18, apparently due to harsh torture.

The Navy has named its earlier Type 214 submarines after former military heroes and independence fighters. Most recently, the fifth sub in the class was dubbed “Yun Bong-gil,” after the patriot who killed two high-ranking Japanese officials and wounded several others by hurling a bomb during the birthday celebration of the Japanese emperor in 1932 in Shanghai. Yun was later executed. 

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