SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense minister offered an official apology Friday for the military's brutal use of force against pro-democracy protesters in Gwangju in 1980.
"As the minister of national defense, I offer a sincere apology and (words of) comfort to Gwangju citizens that our military has left suffering in the process of the May 18 Democratization Movement 38 years ago," Song Young-moo said in a statement.
It came two days after the ministry's special fact-finding team announced the results of five months of investigation into suspicions about the military's role in the suppression of those protesting against the junta of Chun Doo-hwan.
The civilian-government panel said the Army launched helicopter gunship attacks on citizens in the southwestern city, with fighter jets armed with bombs on standby as a backup. The findings were based on the review of documents and interviews on witnesses.
The ministry established the special committee last year after President Moon Jae-in ordered a thorough probe into related allegations.
K-pop star Sulli found dead: police
(LEAD) K-pop star Sulli found dead: police
(2nd LD) K-pop star Sulli found dead: police
Justice Minister Cho Kuk resigns over corruption allegations
(URGENT) Justice Minister Cho Kuk steps down from post