May 18th Democratic Uprising

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Historic Implication of May 18th Democratic Uprising

The May 18th Democratic Uprising is the beacon of democracy!

The May 18th Democratic Uprising refers to a popular movement in the city of Gwangju during which citizens rose up against Jeon Duhwan's illegal military dictatorship and called for democracy. In the course of the Democratic Uprising and in the absence of the police, citizens showed a higher level of citizenship as evidenced that there were no reports of thefts in such places as financial institutes or jewelry shops. In addition, the endless queue to donate blood for the injured showed great citizenship and they made a great community to help each other. This movement has been filled with such unprecedented struggles which were ultra-rational and ultra-ethical.。

After civil rule was reinstated, the incident received recognition as an effort to defend democracy from military usurpation. After continuous calls from the public for a truth-finding investigation into the May 18th Democratic Uprising, former presidents Jeon Duhwan, Roh Taeu and 17 others were convicted for their connections with the December 12, 1979 coup, the Gwangju Movement. A national cemetery and day of commemoration (on May 18th), along with acts to compensate and restore honor to victims, were completed.

The Gwangju Democratic Movement gave a chance to highlight the immorality of the fifth republic which inherited the Yushin regime of former president Park Jeonghui, collapsed the regime and became a trigger of a power shift in 50 years and the birth of the civil government.

Finally, this movement respected the tradition of autonomy, democracy and peace, all of which were shown in the past public resistances and was recorded as a symbolic struggle to preserve human rights in the development of democracy in modern Korean history.

Cause and Development of the May 18th Democratic Uprising

Gwangju, Cross of our Nation! The City of Eternal Youth!

On October 26, 1979, the former president Park Jeong-hui, who was in power for 18 years after coming to power through a coup d' tat, was shot to death by Kim Jaegyu, who was then Director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. After the collapse of the Yushin dictatorship, political officers centering on ROK Army General Jeon Duhwan took control of the government through the Coup d'état on December 12.M.

With the beginning of a new semester in March 1980, professors and students led nationwide demonstrations for an array of reforms, including a restoration of student unions, an end to martial law and the ousting of the remnants of the Yushin regime, venting their calls for political democratization in earnest.
In response, the government took several suppressive measures. On May 17, 1980, the new military regime

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