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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 April 10, 2023

April 11

1959 -- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization starts construction of its office in Myeongdong, downtown Seoul.

1960 -- Kim Ju-yeol, a student at Masan Commercial High School who was arrested by police after participating in a pro-democracy demonstration the previous month, is found dead. His body is discovered in waters off Masan, a southeastern coastal city, adding fuel to mounting public protests against Rhee Syng-man's dictatorial regime. A nationwide protest took place April 19, forcing the president to step down.

1975 -- Kim Sang-jin, a Seoul National University student, commits suicide by disembowelment as a protest against President Park Chung-hee. The general-turned-president issued a set of emergency decrees aimed at banning public criticism of his regime and empowering a military court to deal with violations.

In 1972, Park created a new constitution, called "Yushin" (revitalizing reforms), enabling him to remain in office indefinitely. Park came to power in a 1961 coup and ruled until he was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979.

2001 -- A court rules that the South Korean government must compensate residents of Maehyangri, a community near a U.S. Air Force shooting range in Gyeonggi Province, for physical and mental damage. After the Koo-ni shooting range was established in 1951 during the Korean War, more than a dozen people died and many others were seriously wounded because of military activity. The residents, mostly farmers, had appealed to South Korean authorities about the issue since the 1980s.

The residents didn't receive the compensation of 194 million won (US$169,750) until April 2004.

2012 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is named "first secretary," a newly created top post, of the Workers' Party, at a party conference, further consolidating his grip on power. His late father and former leader Kim Jong-il, who died of a heart attack in December 2011, is also named the "eternal" general secretary of the party, according to the North's state media.

2019 -- The Constitutional Court rules that the abortion law that criminalizes any kinds of abortion is against the Constitution and calls for a legislative change to partially allow terminations in the early stage of pregnancy.

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