Dark sights in Jeollanam Do
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This sombre memorial park, which opened in 1997, contains a simple burial site for 325 civilian casualties of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising. What the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre is to China, the 1980 Gwangju Massacre is to South Korea, a mass demonstration and protest against an authoritarian regime with deadly consequences that became an icon for its time.
Following large-scale student protests against military rule, on 18 May 1980 the army was ordered to move into Gwangju on the pretext of quelling a communist uprising. The soldiers had no bullets, but they used bayonets to murder dozens of unarmed protesters and passers-by. Outraged residents broke into armouries and…