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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 October 16, 2018

Oct. 17

1972 -- President Park Chung-hee declares martial law nationwide and dissolves the National Assembly. The following month, the government introduced a new constitution, known as the "Yushin" (Revitalizing Reform) Constitution, which greatly expanded presidential powers and allowed Park to remain in office indefinitely. Park stayed in power until he was assassinated in 1979.

1974 -- A fire rips through a hotel in downtown Seoul, killing 19 people.

1978 -- An underground tunnel dug by North Korea is discovered near the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom. The tunnel, the third of its kind to be found in South Korea, was made as part of the North's efforts to prepare for an invasion of the South.

1985 -- Chang Sae-dong, chief of the Agency for National Security Planning, and Park Chul-un, an aide to President Chun Doo-hwan, secretly meet with North Korean leader Kim Il-sung to propose a South-North summit. The two sides failed to produce an agreement.

1991 -- South Korea establishes diplomatic relations with Estonia.

1999 -- Choi Yo-sam wins the WBC light flyweight championship.

2007 -- The government earmarks 1.5 billion won (US$1.2 million) to help hundreds of ethnic Koreans in Japan facing eviction buy disputed land in their rural community. Their ancestors had been interned as laborers in Utoro, a small village in Kyoto Prefecture, to build military installations during the war. Japanese courts denied their right to the property, making the Utoro case one of Japan's longest-running legal disputes.

2012 -- Park Young-joon, a former vice economy minister and close aide to former President Lee Myung-bak, is sentenced to two years behind bars for ordering illegal surveillance of public servants and taking bribes related to a massive construction deal. The Seoul Central District Court charges him with ordering illegal surveillance on provincial city officials in connection with an industrial complex project when he was a presidential aide in 2008.
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