After the Candlelight Revolution in South Korea

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Seil Oh, SJ

 Seil Oh, SJ / Issue 1806 / Published Date:15 June 2018/Last Updated Date:10 July 2020

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) experienced a drastic change in the course of and after the Candlelight Revolution of 2017. Koreans, like many peoples in the world, have suffered tremendously from a brutal war and the division of the country. They have held demonstrations in recent years to stop a corrupt government and reestablish the nation by lighting candles as a sign of hope and nonviolence. The South Korean National Assembly removed President Park Geun-hye from power, bringing an end to what has been rightly called the Candlelight Revolution. It had begun quietly on October 29, 2016. For six weeks, by candlelight, South Koreans descended into the public squares as the sun set each Saturday evening. Up to 2 million people gathered.

The new government, in power since May 2017, is strongly supported by the people’s desire for social justice. It has faced up to the reform of chronic social diseases, including the imprisonment of the two latest presidents[1] and the creation of new solutions for geopolitical and diplomatic problems.

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