Today in Korean history (March 11)
Mar 11, 2017
•528 -- Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea that later unified the country, declares Buddhism as the national religion after a young monk martyrs himself.
•1959 -- South Korea establishes diplomatic relations with Sweden.
•1985 -- Roh Tae-woo, leader of the ruling Democratic Justice Party who was elected president three years later, brushes off the opposition's move to revise the nation's electoral laws to enable direct voting for president. Roh himself was, ironically, elected via the revised electoral system.
•1996 -- The first hearing in the trial of two former presidents, Chun Doo-hwan and his successor Roh Tae-woo, takes place at a Seoul court. Chun and Roh were charged with organizing a coup d'etat and killing hundreds of protesters in the southwestern city of Gwangju in 1980.
•2004 -- Nam Sang-guk, former president of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, commits suicide. The 59-year-old jumped off a bridge into the Han River in Seoul shortly after President Roh Moo-hyun accused him of illegal business conduct in a televised speech. Nam was under investigation on charges of providing money to the president's elder brother to retain his job as the company head.
•2013 -- North Korea severs the inter-Korean communication hotline that runs through the truce village of Panmunjom. Inter-Korean tensions had been running high since the North detonated its third nuclear device on Feb. 12 and the United Nations agreed to slap tougher sanctions on the communist country for the provocations.
•2014 -- South Korea becomes the third Asian country after Japan and Hong Kong to chair the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental anti-money laundering body. Established in 1989, the FATF sets standards and promotes the implementation of legal and regulatory measures against money laundering and financing of terrorism. It has 36 member countries and 24 observers.