Key Events in Korean History on October 30: From Defections to Diplomacy and Disasters

SEOUL — As October 30 marks a day of various significant events in South Korean history, ranging from diplomatic breakthroughs to tragedies, it serves as a moment of reflection for the nation.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, in 1981 a Czech soldier defected to South Korea across the border at the truce village of Panmunjom. The soldier was part of the Czech delegation, which was staying on the North Korean side of the village. The delegation, along with Poland, represented North Korea's interests on the commission, while Switzerland and Sweden represented the American-led U.N. Command.

In 1993, South Korea saw the opening of a 7.5-kilometer subway track that connected seven stations on Line No. 3 from Yangjae Station to Suseo Station.

The year 1997 marked another milestone for the country as it established diplomatic relations with Cambodia at the ambassador level.

On the same date in 1999, a devastating fire occurred in the western city of Incheon, resulting in the loss of 56 lives, most of whom were high school girls. The students had rented a beer hall for a party when the tragedy struck.

In the realm of aerospace, the T-50 Golden Eagle, the first indigenous supersonic aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, successfully completed its maiden flight on this day in 2002.

The Supreme Court made headlines in 2018 when it ordered Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel to pay 100 million won (US$86,000) each to four South Koreans as compensation for wartime forced labor and unpaid work during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula.

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