We herewith proclaim the independence of Korea and the liberty of the Korean people. We tell it to the world in witness of the equality of all nations and we pass it on to our posterity as their inherent right.
We make this proclamation, having 5,000 years of history, and 20,000,000 united loyal people. We take this step to insure to our children for all time to come, personal liberty in accord with the awakening consciousness of this new era. This is the clear leading of God, the moving principle of the present age, the whole human race’s just claim. It is something that cannot be stamped out, stifled, gagged, or suppressed by any means.
– from the Korean Declaration of Independence (from Japan), March 1, 1919.
I was thinking this pertinent especially in relation to recent events in the Arab nations. My understanding is that the leaders of the March 1st movement in Korea were at least partially inspired by Woodrow Wilson’s “Fouteen Points.”