Korean novels on the Vietnam War attempt to heal the wounds of Korean soldiers while omitting the life and wounds of the Vietnamese. The reason why they fail to reveal the true nature of the Vietnam War or avoid doing so is because the nation forced them to do so and also because the mechanism of self-censorship was too strong. Against the collective memory that was distorted and controlled by the state, Hwang Suk-young revives the hidden memory of the war and reveals the fact that the Korean Army was dispatched to Vietnam so that Korea would receive economic aid from the United States of America. The literary achievement of The Shadow of the Arms is that it locates the Vietnamese in the place of the subject by recording their lives of fighting for survival during the war. In contrast, he places the Korean Army as the other and highlights the immorality of participating in the Vietnam War. When we disclose the fact that ‘Liberty’s Crusade’ was a fraud, then we can dream about the possibility of reconciling with the Vietnamese.
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