One year on, Koreans remember candlelight movement

A year after South Koreans began to take to the streets in protest against their corruption-ridden leader, they still vividly remember the historic moment they removed former President Park Geun-hye from power over a corruption scandal.

While the sense of victory still remains, an estimated 50,000 people, according to the rally organizers, gathered again in central Seoul to urge the Moon Jae-in administration to continue its efforts to root out “deep-rooted evils” to complete what they call the “Candlelight Revolution.”The demonstrators renewed calls for a wide range of political, social and economic reforms.

“I think the candlelight vigils showed Korean people hope that this unfair society could change through our actions. I came here to celebrate it,” Choi Mi-young, 38, said at Gwanghwamun Square, the main site of last year’s demonstrations.

“The candles should continue to be lit to remind the Moon administration that it should work for Korean people,” said Choi, who joined the candlelight rallies a few times last year.

The candlelight movement began on Oct. 29 last year with some 30,000 people protesting against then-President Park Geun-hye in the face of allegations that she let her friend Choi Soon-sil involve herself in state affairs despite having no formal government position.

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