April 20, 2012 13:12
On April 11, 1960 a body with a tear gas grenade stuck in one eye was found floating in the sea near a dock in the southeastern city of Masan. More than 30,000 college and high school students marched to the main government building in Seoul, chanting slogans for justice and democracy, when the military started to open fire at the crowd.
At least 120 people were killed and thousands of others injured. The bloodshed marked the end of the 12-year rule of the Syngman Rhee administration, and led to the creation of the short-lived Second Republic.
To commemorate the historic day, President Lee Myung-bak on Thursday visited the April 19th National Cemetery in northern Seoul to pay tribute to the young victims. Later in the day, a memorial service was held at the cemetery, where Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik said that it was the April Revolution that set down democratic principles and rules and eventually led to the full establishment of democracy in Korea.
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