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Chun’s refusal to return hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly collected from slush funds and news reports about his extravagant golf trips stir anger among many South Koreans. Whether taxpayer money should be used to protect Chun’s residence is a subject of heated debate and also a reminder that South Koreans have not fully come to terms with Gwangju.

Choi said the original cartoon struck a chord with those South Koreans who believe that Chun showed no sign of repentance.

“The cartoon criticizes the current society. Because South Korea did not fully punish those responsible for the massacre, victims have no choice but to take revenge into their hands,” Choi said.

Some “26 Years” donors said they felt indebted to Gwangju citizens who risked their lives for democracy.

Gwangju citizens made the biggest contributions but they have not won recognition,” said South Korean Song In-keun who lives in Cambridge, Mass. “I made a donation believing that it was a way of paying back my debt to Gwangju.”


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