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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 November 22, 2019

Nov. 23

1968 -- Massive fire at Namdaemun Market in Seoul destroys 775 stores and kills one firefighter.

1988 -- Former President Chun Doo-hwan, after turning over power to his military colleague Roh Tae-woo in February of that year, issues a public apology for having stashed away a large amount of funds during his eight-year presidency. Calling the money "gifts and donations" from conglomerates, Chun promised to return it to state coffers. After the announcement, he retired to Baekdam Temple on Mount Seorak, Gangwon Province.

A court later ruled that Chun had improperly accumulated over 220 billion won (US$191 million) during his term in office. The former president denied having that amount and has yet to keep his promise to return the funds.

2010 -- North Korea shells the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, killing two Marines and two civilians. Tensions peaked on the peninsula following the shelling, which was recorded as one of the worst attacks on the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

2012 -- Independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo announces his abrupt withdrawal from the presidential campaign, endorsing Rep. Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic United Party and clearing the way for a two-way race with ruling party hopeful Park Geun-hye in the Dec. 19 polls.

The abrupt announcement came shortly after the two candidates failed to narrow differences on how to set the rules for merging candidacies to go up against Park.

2015 -- A U.S. Apache helicopter crashes onto a mountain road in Wonju, Gangwon Province, killing the pilot and another crew member.

2016 -- South Korea and Japan sign a military intelligence-sharing pact to better counter North Korean threats. The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), the first military pact between the two neighbors, allows the two countries to share information regarding nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by North Korea, and the communist regime's military activities. The signing of the pact came less than a month after discussions resumed on Oct. 27, following a hiatus of four years.
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