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Pres. Yoon vows to uphold the spirit of Gwangju

Posted May. 19, 2022 08:06,   

Updated May. 19, 2022 08:06


South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol attended a memorial ceremony for the 42nd anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Movement, sang along to the signature anthem for the pro-democracy movement, “March for the Beloved,” and vowed to uphold the spirit of the May 18 spirit. The Gwangju civil groups took a positive note of President Yoon’s remark that he would attend the May 18 commemoration ceremony every year in his term.

“President Yoon was the first president who brought ministers, vice ministers, and all the ruling party lawmakers. No president before him promised to attend the event every year during presidential term,” said Hwang Il-bong, head of the May 18 veteran’s association. “I felt sincerity in President Yoon’s words and actions.”

Before the ceremony began, President Yoon met with Hwang, Lim Jong-soo, head of the May 18 contributors’ group, and Park Hae-sook, president of the bereaved families of the fighters of democratization movement, and had a 10-minute conversation. “Today, all Koreans are citizens of Gwangju. I will do my best to address the May 18 Democratization Movement related issues,” President Yoon reportedly said.

Mr. Lim also positively regarded President Yoon’s promise to attend the May 18 ceremony. “I highly regard President Yoon in that he tries to address the May 18 movement-related matters as a conservative president.” President Yoon reportedly reiterated that he would uphold the May 18 spirit after the ceremony ended and right before getting in the car.

Hyeong-Ju Lee peneye09@donga.com