Aung San Su Kyi Visits Korean Democracy Memorial

Burmese democracy activist Aung San Su Kyi visited Gwangju on Thursday and paid her respects at the May 18 National Cemetery. She was accompanied by members of Burma's National League for Democracy, Burmese residents in Korea and members of a youth group.

Aung San Su Kyi burned incense to honor those killed during the Gwangju pro-democracy uprising in 1980 and planted a tree to mark her visit.

Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi burns incense as she visits the May 18 National Cemetery for the victims of the 1980 Gwangju civilian uprising in Gwangju on Thursday. Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi burns incense as she visits the May 18 National Cemetery for the victims of the 1980 Gwangju civilian uprising in Gwangju on Thursday.

She also went to Gwangju City Hall to meet Mayor Kang Woon-tae and attended a luncheon in her honor at the Kim Dae-jung Convention Center, where she finally received the Gwangju Human Rights Award given to her nine years ago. At the time, Su Kyi was under house arrest imposed by the Burmese junta.

Aung San Su Kyi was made an honorary citizen of Gwangju.

She expressed hope her visit would lead to "stronger and closer ties" between Gwangju and Burma.

Gwangju city officials invited Aung San Su Kyi to deliver the keynote addresses at the 2013 World Human Rights City Forum and speak at the 2015 Universiade.

The democracy icon once again asked the Korean media to refer to her country as Burma rather than Myanmar, the name used by the military junta, until it is truly free.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 01, 2013 10:09 KST