- The national debt redemption movement is an economic sovereignty protection movement initiated by the Korean people in order to repay a predatory loan enforced by Japan. The Daegu Minuiso (currently known as Daegu Chamber of Commerce & Industry), led by the Council of Daedonggwang (Council of Daegu Gwangmunsa), recited the prospectus for The national debt redemption movement at the Gathering of the People of Daegu, held at Bukhujeong. This was the starting point from which the movement spread across the nation, establishing a repayment council in most gun-districts by April.
- Startled by the enthusiasm shown by the Korean people, the Japanese Residency-General exerted pressure in order to interfere with this movement. This included prohibiting assembly and association by enacting the press law and security law in July, bringing Bethell?the president of Daehan Maeil Shinbo, a company at the core of the press campaign for The national debt redemption movement ?to trial (October 1907), and arresting the secretary Yang Gi-tak on a charge of embezzlement (July 1908). The movement declined during this process.
This led to the assembly of the National Debt Handling Committee, who decided to use the donated funds to further the education industry in a representative assembly. However, while the Committee was attempting to increase interest, the initiative failed because of the Japanese seizure of Korean national sovereignty on August 29, 1910. The remaining funds later became the financial foundation for the Korean people’s private university establishment movement.
The spirit of this movement revived during the gold collection movement of the 1997 Korean financial crisis, and carries on to this day as the origin of patriotism.