Monumentin Myanmar for 1983 dead

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Monumentin Myanmar for 1983 dead

Myanmar and South Korean officials will unveil a monument on Friday, Korea’s Memorial Day, to pay tribute to 17 Koreans and four Burmese who were murdered in a 1983 terrorist bombing by North Korea in Yangon.

The Korean government paid for the monument, which commemorates the victims of the Oct. 9, 1983, bombing, a botched attempt by North Korea to assassinate President Chun Doo-hwan, who was on a visit to Yangon.

Chun was on his way to pay respects at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum to commemorate Burmese nationalist hero Gen. Aung San (1915-1947) and narrowly missed the attack because traffic caused him to be late for the ceremony.

The South Koreans who died in the bombing included senior lawmakers, presidential aides and cabinet ministers such as Foreign Minister Lee Beom-seok.

Three North Korean suspects were identified, though one died while being arrested. The other two suspects included a man who confessed and was jailed for life by Myanmar, while the other was hanged.

The newly built Aung San Mausoleum-Korean Martyrs’ Memorial is 256 square meters (about 2,700 square feet). The Korean monument is nine meters wide, 1.5 meters high and one meter deep. It cost the Korean government around 730 million won ($713,000).

Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se departs on a four-day trip to Myanmar today, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, and will hold talks with Myanmar officials on various issues. Yun is scheduled to meet with President Thein Sein in the capital of Naypyidaw.

On Friday, he is expected to attend a ceremony unveiling the monument, which will be attended by 23 relatives of the South Korean who perished in the bombing.

BY SARAH KIM[sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]


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