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5/18 Remembering history of May 18 Democracy Movement

5/18 Remembering history of May 18 Democracy Movement


Today marks the 36th anniversary of the May
18th pro-democracy movement,… a day as important now for Korea as it was more than three-and-a-half
decades ago. The movement laid the groundwork for the democracy
South Koreans enjoy today. For more on what unfolded on this day in 1980
in the southwestern city of Gwangju,… our Shin Se-min reports. It’s a day remembered nationwide. For some
it holds bitter memories,… for others, honor. Marking the pro-democracy movement that took
place on this day 36 years ago,… most people are reflecting and reminiscing on the historic
event that altered the political and social landscape of Korea.
In 1980,… public opposition to martial law led student activists in Gwangju to carry
out a string of demonstrations which triggered a campaign to overthrow the authoritarian
Chun Doo-hwan regime. In response, Chun deployed special military
forces to suppress civilians and employed brutal force … killing some 200 and wounding
countless others. This pro-democracy movement took root, making
Gwangju the symbolic center for civil action… and now May 18 is widely remembered as the
day that gave birth to democracy in a struggling nation. “I come by and see my friends and brothers…
We all went through that time together… It’s emotional and hard every time I come.” For the daughter of one May 18 activist, this
year’s anniversary is all the more poignant. Her father has been in the hospital in critical
condition since last November, after being knocked to the ground by police water cannons
during a government protest. “It’s an event that cannot be forgotten…
and seeing my dad still going through such tough times,… I don’t have much to say.” “Here at the Mangwoldong Memorial Cemetery,…
where the martyrs of the Gwangju pro-democracy movements are laid to rest,… visitors create
this stone tower to honor the spirits of those who have given their lives for the democracy
of the nation.” The building of this tower was once stalled
for more than two decades,… but resumed with public support and continues to take
shape, piece by piece. And now, not only does it represent community,
but also the united struggle and the spirit of democracy that Korea continues to benefit
from today. Shin Se-min, Arirang News, Gwangju.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. 518 people's deads?
    No!!!
    estimated thousands people's killers or more..
    USA needed stopped the communism..
    !!!!USA the biggest terrorists!!!!!!

  2. Our Family worked under Chun doo hwan in the Military. We executed Communists, Liberals who caused Chaos in the Country and if it happens again, I will gladly follow my family's footstep and kill them.

  3. These riots are different then US riots and protest.usa only holds and push the. Of korean riot teams baton then to death and shoot them.

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