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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 August 27, 2021

Aug. 28

1946 -- North Korea founds the ruling Workers' Party, the Soviet-backed regime's first official step toward establishing a communist system in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

1961 -- Jo Yong-su, 31, president of the progressive daily Minjok Ilbo, receives a death sentence. He is convicted of spying for North Korea.

Jo was arrested on May 18, two days after Gen. Park Chung-hee rose to power in a military coup. Jo's publication was a thorn in Park's side, as it promoted a balanced perspective on South and North Korea, and criticized Seoul's dictatorship.

Born into a well-to-do family, with his uncles elected as lawmakers, Jo made a career change while in Japan, deciding to dedicate his life to the cause of balanced reporting. In January 1961, he established the newspaper, which became No. 1 in sales on newsstands.

His straightforward criticism of the dictatorship threatened Park's new regime, which controlled the nation on no legal grounds.

The court conducted Jo's case with no defense lawyers. At the appeals court, Lee Hoi-chang, now a former chairman of the Grand National Party, participated as one of the five judges who unanimously upheld the death sentence.

The sentence was carried out on Dec. 21 that year.

1973 -- North Korea unilaterally announces the suspension of dialogue with South Korea, citing moves by then President Park Chung-hee to solidify his grip on power by adopting the "Yushin," or revitalizing, Constitution. A year earlier, the Koreas had issued a joint statement after months of secret negotiations, pledging to work together for the peaceful unification of their divided country and reconciliation.

2003 -- South and North Korea agree to cooperate to ensure the profitability of the troubled Mount Kumgang tour program operated by Hyundai Asan, an affiliate of the Hyundai Group, which provides South Koreans access to the scenic North Korean mountain resort.

2013 -- A T-50 trainer jet crashes in southwestern South Korea, killing both pilots aboard.

2014 -- Kim Young-oh, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in the Sewol ferry sinking on April 16, ends a 46-day hunger strike due to his worsening condition. He had demanded an independent probe into the cause of the sinking, which left more than 300 people dead.

2015 -- South Korea's Red Cross proposes holding working-level talks with its North Korean counterpart on Sept. 7 to discuss the issue of reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

2017 -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae finds additional documents from the former Park Geun-hye administration, some of which were related to the alleged blacklist of cultural figures critical of the former government.

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