Roanoke College graduate Kim Kyusik, a leader in the Korean independence movement, is being recognized by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) with a historic roadside marker. These markers, placed all across Virginia, document facts, persons and places prominent in the history of the nation, state or region, and serve to educate the public about Virginia’s history.
The Kim Kyusik historical marker was installed and dedicated on Thursday, March 31 in the College’s Bank Building at the corner of Main Street and College Avenue in Salem.
Kim Kyusik (1881-1950) was born in Korea and graduated from Roanoke College in 1903. Kim served the Provisional Korean Government based in China as secretary of foreign affairs, and later as minister of education and vice president. He advocated Korean independence at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, promoted the Korean cause in the United States as chair of the Korean Commission, and helped organize the Korean National Revolutionary Party in China.
After World War II, Kim opposed permanent partition of Korea into North and South. He was kidnapped by the North Korean army during the Korean War and died in captivity.
Kim was nominated by students from Cumberland Middle School, in Cumberland, Virginia, as part of a contest sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Office of the Governor to nominate Asian American Pacific Islanders for historic markers.