SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's new liberal president has vowed to reopen an investigation into the government's role in the violent suppression of a 1980 democratic uprising in the city of Gwangju that killed hundreds, as he further distanced himself from his ousted conservative predecessor.
An emotional President Moon Jae-in made the comments Thursday during an event in Gwangju marking the anniversary of the massacre. He is the first South Korean president to attend the anniversary in four years. Former President Park Geun-hye avoided the event after attending during her first year as president in 2013.
Former military strongman Chun Doo-hwan was convicted in 1996 on a broad range of criminal charges, including orchestrating the crackdown on the Gwangju protesters. He was pardoned in late 1997 and recently denied responsibility in a memoir.