South Korean Gwangju massacre, investigation at last

This 2013 video from South Korea is called Gwangju Massacre.

By James Tweedie:

South Korea: Moon vows to reopen probe into Gwanju massacre

Friday 19th May 2017

SOUTH KOREAN President Moon Jae In vowed yesterday to reopen the probe into a 1980 massacre of pro-democracy protesters.

Mr Moon made the pledge at an anniversary commemoration in Gwangju, where hundreds were killed in a crackdown by the military dictatorship.

He was the first president to attend the event since 2013, when his disgraced predecessor Park Geun Hye came in the first year of her presidency.

Chun Doo Hwan — the general who seized power months after the assassination of Ms Park’s father, dictator Park Chung Hee — was sentenced to death over the massacre in 1996 but pardoned the next year.

“The new government will invest greater effort into fully revealing the truth surrounding the May 18 democracy movement,” Mr Moon said.

“We will at any cost unveil the truth and responsibilities behind the shootings.”

Meanwhile MP and former prime minister Lee Hae Chan met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing yesterday.

Mr Lee is one of four envoys sent by Mr Moon to improve relations with the US, Japan, China and Russia.

Mr Wang urged Seoul to remove the US THAAD antiballistic missile system from its territory.

The system was deployed under the previous government on the pretext of North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, but Beijing and Moscow say it is aimed at neutralising their own deterrents.

“We’re now at a crossroads in our relations,” Mr Wang told Mr Lee as he urged Seoul to “remove the obstacles” in the way of good relations between the neighbours.

An editorial in China’s Global Times yesterday — seen as the voice of the Communist Party — said: “Stopping the deployment of THAAD is the bottom line of China.”

It warned the deployment would “definitely intensify the nuclear arms race and security dilemmas on the Korean peninsula,” already in “deep chaos.”

New South Korean president corrects dictator’s daughter predecessor’s historical whitewash

This video series says about itself:

9 January 2012

On October 26, 1979, South Korean president and military dictator Park Chung-hee was assassinated by his intelligence chief Kim Jae-kyu. Many people had high hopes of democracy.

Background: After the government of the first South Korean President Rhee Seung-man toppled in the April Revolution of 1960, Park Chung-hee staged a military coup, after which he ruled South Korea for 18 years. The Yushin Constitution of 1972 guaranteed Park’s perpetual dictatorship by the election of the president [away] from the voters to an electoral college, alloting one third of the National Assembly seats to appointment by the president, giving the president authority to issue emergency decrees and suspend the Constitution, and giving the president authority to appoint all judges and dismiss the National Assembly. By the late 1970s, demonstrations against the Yushin system erupted throughout the country. When Park Chung-hee was assassinated on October 26, 1979, it seemed as if the spring would com early to Seoul.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

South Korea: Moon closes one chapter of Park’s horrid history

Saturday 13th May 2017

SOUTH KOREAN President Moon Jae In has reversed his predecessor’s decision to replace school history books with her official version.

In 2015 impeached president Park Geun Hye’s government proposed to outlaw textbooks that it claimed were too left-leaning and encouraged views sympathetic to North Korea.

Teachers protested that the new books whitewashed the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Ms Park’s father, Park Chung Hee, and amid strong resistance to the plan Korean Confederation of Trade Unions president Han Sang Gyun was jailed for five years, along with other leaders, for organising a march against the law.

MPs from Mr Moon’s Minjoo (Democratic) party said they would push for a parliamentary debate on the last government’s hosting of US Thaad anti-ballistic missiles, which has angered neighbour China.

And in the first sign of Mr Moon’s pledge to take on big business, the Transport Ministry ordered the recall of 240,000 Hyundai cars for defects exposed by a whistleblower.

Migratory birds in South Korea

This video says about itself:

Yubudo (Yubu) Island, Guem Estuary – A shorebird haven in the Yellow Sea

19 October 2016

The Geum Estuary in Seocheon County, South Korea is one of the most significant migratory shorebird stopover points in the Yellow Sea and the most significant in Korea. With the loss of the Saemangeum mudflats a small island (known as Yubu Island) has become a crucial refuge site and hosts close to 40,000 shorebirds and waterbirds each year including the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

BirdLife International and BirdLife Australia are working together with Seocheon County Government, the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat and other stakeholders including local communities and NGOs, national government and international agencies to support and enable the long-term, participatory conservation of Geum Estuary. The Geum Estuary contains two Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), a Ramsar site, and an EAAFP Flyway Network Site and the long-term conservation plan includes securing World Heritage Site status for the site (with Wadden Sea Secretariat staff advising), and supporting the development of nature based tourism.

See also here.

Koreans commemorate crimes against ‘comfort women’

This Dutch language video says about itself (translated):

January 12 2017

Sometimes they were raped 20 times a day, 200 thousand Korean “comfort women” who were brought to Japan between 1910 and 1945 to sexually serve soldiers. This statue in Busan symbolizes the drama. But as [the governments of] South Korea and Japan want to bury the hatchet, the government threatens to dismantle the statue. Hans Aarsman about the protest which that decision causes.