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Yoon, PPP lawmakers travel to Gwangju en masse to commemorate 1980 democracy uprising

Lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party arrive at a train station in Gwangju to attend a ceremony marking the 1980 pro-democracy uprising on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party arrive at a train station in Gwangju to attend a ceremony marking the 1980 pro-democracy uprising on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol and some 100 lawmakers from the ruling People Power Party (PPP) traveled to the southwestern city of Gwangju on Wednesday for a ceremony marking the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in an unprecedented outreach to the home turf of the main opposition party.

The civil revolt, in which Gwangju citizens rose up against the then military junta led by late former President Chun Doo-hwan, has long been associated with the liberal opposition Democratic Party (DP), and the conservative party has kept a distance from it amid perceptions its roots have ties to Chun.

Yoon and the PPP lawmakers took a KTX high-speed train from Seoul to Gwangju.

The PPP estimates that about 100 lawmakers from the party will attend the ceremony.

The PPP's decision to have its lawmakers visit the annual ceremony en masse was seen as an outreach to the rival region of Honam aimed at improving its image and wooing centrist voters ahead of the June 1 local elections.

The DP was also expected have more than 100 of its lawmakers at the event. (Yonhap)

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