Today in Korean history
1963 -- Park Chung-hee, the then acting president of South Korea after rising to power through a military coup in 1961, proposes a referendum for a presidential election. The announcement brings fierce criticism from opposition parties and civic activists, as the former general had promised to hand over power to a civilian administration.
1982 -- The South Korean government decides to convert the former headquarters of the Japanese colonial government into a national museum. The former colonial building was demolished in 1995.
1983 -- KorAm Bank, the first U.S.-Korea joint venture bank, opens.
1994 -- The government allows the sale of mineral water.
2001 -- Former Acting President Park Choong-hoon dies of a chronic disease. He was 82. Park was appointed acting prime minister by coup forces led by ex-President Chun Doo-hwan on May 17, 1980. After former President Choi Kyu-ha resigned, Park served as acting president for 12 days from Aug. 16-Aug. 27.
2003 -- Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and human rights activist, visits South Korea.
2006 -- A South Korean reporter is released after a one-day abduction in the Gaza Strip. Yong Tae-young, the Dubai-based correspondent for KBS, South Korea's state-funded television station, was kidnapped from a hotel in the northern beach area of Gaza by a group of gunmen believed to be linked with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
2009 -- A terrorist bomb goes off in Yemen's city of Seiyun, located some 500 kilometers east of the capital Sanna, killing four South Korean tourists and injuring three others in the city.
2010 -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak appoints Kim Choong-soo, ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as new governor of the Bank of Korea and successor to Lee Seong-tae.
2017 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says two decades of diplomatic efforts to end North Korea's nuclear program have failed, and it's time to come up with a different approach. In a joint news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, he strongly suggests that the new U.S. policy on North Korea will be tough and pressure-oriented, rather than engagement.
2021 -- More than 330 former prison inmates are cleared of insurrection charges, in landmark retrials over the bloody 1948-1954 suppression of a civilian uprising on Jeju Island. It is the nation's largest-ever court event, involving the largest number of defendants in a single case.
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