SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Rhee In-soo, the adopted son of South Korea’s first president, Rhee Syng-man (1875-1965), apologized to the victims of the April 19 Revolution, a 1960 pro-democracy civil uprising that occurred during his father’s rule, on his rare visit to their memorial grounds Friday.
The junior Rhee visited the April 19th National Cemetery in northern Seoul, which holds the remains of 186 people killed in the uprising, marking the first such trip by the late president’s family since it took place 63 years ago.
The 92-year-old son offered an apology to the uprising victims and their families, expressing hope that his visit would be an opportunity to promote national unity and reconciliation.
The April 19 Revolution began as hundreds of thousands of people, mostly students, took to the streets nationwide in protest of election fraud and government corruption.
Authorities used force to suppress the demonstrations, but Rhee was eventually forced out of office on April 26, 1960.
The junior Rhee attempted to visit the cemetery and issue a statement of apology in 2011 but was blocked by a group representing the revolution victims’ bereaved families.
“As the son of President Rhee, I paid respects to the victims of the April 19 Revolution and prayed for them for the first time in 63 years. I want to offer my sincere apology and condolences to the victims and their bereaved families,” he said, adding his father would also be delighted at his visit.