Wellington chung: Child of the Korean independence movement crushed by cold war regimes

Vladimír Hlásny, Byung Joon Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Wellington Chung (1927-1963) was a Korean American doctor born and raised in Hawaii, striving all his life to move to Korea, and dying in despair in Czechoslovakia. Chung received medical education at Charles University and practiced pathology in Czechoslovakia for eight years. Chung's life, however, ended tragically when he committed suicide. This study recounts the untold life story of Chung as well as his Korean American family. Reverend Hyun Soon, Chung's grandfather, was a nationalist movement leader. Alice Hyun, Chung's mother, was labeled Korean Mata Hari. This study argues that Chung was a son of the Korean independence movement who perished amidst the Cold War. The lives of his mother, grandfather, and uncles influenced Chung's life path. He joined political organizations, wrote essays, and organized fundraisers in support of North Korea, and wanted to return there after becoming a doctor. However, his mother was executed in North Korea around 1956 as an alleged U.S. intelligence spy. His uncles were summoned to the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and harassed with the threat of deportation. Chung himself lost his American citizenship. He had nowhere to return. He was trapped in rural Czechoslovakia by the witch hunt of the Cold War regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-146
Number of pages41
JournalKorea Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Korean National Commission for UNESCO,2014.


  • Alice Hyun
  • Cold War
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Karlovy Vary
  • Korean American
  • Korean Independence Movement
  • Wellington Chung


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