S. Korea to mark 1980 pro-democracy uprising anniversary


SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea was set to mark the 44th anniversary of the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju on Saturday.

Some 2,500 people were expected to gather at a national cemetery in the city, located 267 kilometers south of Seoul, to commemorate the May 18 uprising, a watershed event for the country’s democratization, according to the veterans ministry.

On May 18, 1980, demonstrators, including students, protested against the then ruling junta led by Chun Doo-hwan, who seized power in a military coup the previous year. The military conducted a bloody crackdown on them, leaving hundreds dead.

The ceremony will bring together key members from the government, the ruling and opposition parties; those who took part in the movement; and bereaved family members of those who died in the uprising.

“We must remember the Republic of Korea’s democracy stands on the sacrifices and devotion made in Gwangju 44 years ago,” said Veterans Minister Kang Jung-ai, referring to South Korea by its official name, according to her office.

Visitors pay their respects at a national cemetery in Gwangju, 267 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 17, 2024, a day ahead of the anniversary of the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern city. (Yonhap)

Visitors pay their respects at a national cemetery in Gwangju, 267 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 17, 2024, a day ahead of the anniversary of the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern city. (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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