41 years ago tomorrow on May 18th, in Gwangju, South Koreans kicked off a pro-democracy movement which eventually led to a military crackdown killing hundreds and injuring thousands under the authoritarian regime.
On the eve of the anniversary, South Koreans are gathered to remmeber the sacrifices. This year, the commemorations are also highlighting the ongoing struggle for democracy in Myanmar.
Our Kim Yeon-seung is in Gwangju tonight.
Yeon-seung, tell us where you are this evening.
Connyoung, back in 1980, thousands of citizens of Gwangju poured into this square to chant for democracy.
41 years later, as South Korea commemmorates their movement, it's also celebrating another cause the movement for democracy in Myanmar.
Tonight's event will start around 7-thirty PM, and one of the themes is the "the scene of solidarity" between Myanmar and Gwangju.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, only 99 people are allowed to attend, but the audience will include two Burmese students living Gwangju who also support the cause.
For months, leading up to this event, Gwangju civic groups have been aiding and supporting Myanmar's democracy movement from afar.
I got a chance to talk with the leader of one of these groups in Gwangju to find out how they've been doing that.
Take a listen.
"The most painful thing at the time of the May 18th movement was being disconnected from the outside world. So civic groups in Gwangju came together to form the Myanmar Gwangju Solidarity group to let the international community know about Myanmar's situation and to show Myanmar that we are with them."
Members of the group I spoke with today all said that Myanmar's situation is eerily similar to Gwangju in 1980, with the military coup and the brutality against ordinary citizens, which is why they feel so compelled to help.
That's all I have for now, but I'll be back later with more.