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Lawmaker urges release of US files on Gwangju Uprising

Oct. 21, 2019 - 16:18 By Park Han-na
Rep. Park Joo-sun of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday to intensify diplomatic efforts to push for the disclosure of US government documents related to the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju. 

During a parliamentary audit of the Foreign Ministry at the National Assembly, Park stressed the need for the systematic collection of records for a thorough investigation into remaining questions about the Gwangju Democratic Uprising. 

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a parliamentary audit at the National Assembly in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)

“We must actively make efforts to receive declassified documents pertaining to the May 18 (uprising) from the US government,” Park said.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that the ministry will push for the release of the data by exerting a governmentwide effort based on a consultation with civilian experts.

Korean civic groups that represent the victims of the violent military crackdown of civilians during the 1980 democratization movement in Gwangju say there are confidential US documents that contain vital information concerning the authorities ultimately responsible for the massacre of hundreds of civilians.

The uprising was suppressed by the military junta led by Chun Doo-hwan, a general who seized power in a military coup. More than 200 people were killed and 1,800 others wounded.

By Park Han-na (