To the Editors of The Crimson:
We have followed with great interest the recent articles in The Crimson regarding the one-million dollar gift to Harvard by the Korean Trader's Association (KTA), and the possible relationship between that donation and the influence-peddling activities of the Korean government operatives in Washington. As persons connected with this case, we now feel called upon to speak out publicly on this issue.
As your articles suggest, the KTA contribution may be interpreted as an attempt to improve the reputation of Korea and its government in American academic circles. It is clear, however, that the University has not agreed to any constraints on its part in respect to the voicing of antagonistic opinions of the Park Chung-hee regime by any of its faculty members or students. Though it is true that the University accepted the money, it is also true that it would only accept it with no strings attached.
The writers of this letter are both, at the present time, recipients of funds allocated from the KTA grant. We have accepted these funds with the clear understanding that we are in no way obligated by this to voice positions favorable to the Park regime. In fact, we wish to take this occasion to affirm our opposition to the measures taken by the Park government to suppress basic human liberties within South Korea. The widespread control apparatus maintained by the Korean CIA, the torturing, imprisonment, and even execution of Korean citizens because they have spoken out against the regime, the censorship of the Korean press and postal system, and, most of all, the intense aura of fear created by these actions--all of these are abhorrent to us. Neither in word nor in deed do we wish to be associated with such policies and actions. On the contrary, we stand solidly in support of the movement to bring about an atmosphere of respect for human rights in South Korea.
If there are those who think that either the University or the recipients of KTA money have allowed themselves to be bribed into acquiescence to the brutalities of the Park dictatorship, we hope that they will be disabused of such thoughts by the above remarks. Charles N. Goldberg Instructor in Anthropology Edward J. Baker Ph.D. Candidate in History & East Asian Languages