South Korea marks 40 years since the country's bloodiest moment on its turbulent path toward democracy on this May 18th the May 18th Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement.
Four decades later, that Spring day in the nation's southwestern city remains an open wound for many Koreans as this country moves to find the truth behind behind the bloody military crackdown that claimed more than 200 lives and wounded one,800 others.
Uncovering the truth, 40 years later. Our Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement Special In-depth.
Live in the studio with me is Donald Kirk. Donald was is Gwangju in May, 1980 reporting for the British publications, 'The Observer.'
Since and over the years, you've covered all kinds of different conflicts around the world.
Is there anything about the Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement that stands out in your memory differently?
It wasn't until 2017 with the latest Moon Jae-in administration that we've been able to openly dig into what happened 40 years ago.
How do you feel about the latest efforts to uncover the truth of the event?
The May 18 Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement remains a painful memory for the Koreans especially because dictator and former President Chun Doo-hwan appears to have his own version of the quote "truth."
We have an eyewitness joining us live from Newscastle, England.
David Dolinger was in Gwangju, South Korea in May 1980 as part of the U.S. Peace Corps.
Dr. Dolinger, thank you for taking the time and energy to speak to us this evening.
Why were you in Gwangju, South Korea in 1980?
Could you describe to us what you remember happening in the South Korean city of Gwangju during the one week that began on May 18th, 1980?
You've said you'd like to attend Chun Doo-hwan's defamation trial to testify against him. What do you want to say and why is it important for you to give your testimony at this point?
Do you have any final word or a message to the younger generation Koreans or those who do not know about what happened in Gwangju that May in 1980 that you would like to deliver?
Dr. David Dolinger, thank you so much for digging up your painful memories and sharing it with us.
Much respect and many, many thanks.
Donald, having listened to Dr. Dolinger's account and based on your own, how do you think the May 18 Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement has shaped democracy here in South Korea?
You were in Gwangju today. What was it like?
Donald, thank you for sharing your recollection of the Spring Day in 1980 in Gwangju with us as we mark the 40th year since the Pro-Democracy Movement. Thank you.