S. Korea, Myanmar plan monument to 1983 bombing

SEOUL - A South Korean delegation will visit Myanmar next month to finalise agreement on building a monument to the victims of North Korea's 1983 attempt to assassinate the South's president in Yangon.

"A group of our officials and experts will visit the site early next month to discuss details of the construction plan," a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP.

The two sides hope to reach a final agreement ahead of the 30th anniversary of the October 9 bomb attack.

The bombing of the Aung San Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon had targeted then South Korean president Chun Doo-Hwan.

It killed 21 people, although Chun's life was spared thanks to traffic congestion.

He was only minutes away from the mausoleum when the bomb, concealed in the mausoleum roof, went off just above the gathered presidential entourage.

Among the dead were South Korea's foreign minister Lee Beom-Seok, as well as the deputy prime minister and industry minister.

Myanmar police later identified three North Korean agents who had travelled by ship to Yangon and received explosives in the North Korean embassy.

Two of them were arrested, while a third managed to kill three soldiers before being cornered and shot dead.

Efforts to build a monument accelerated last May after President Lee Myung-Bak became the first South Korean head of state to make an official visit to Myanmar since the attack.

The foreign ministry spokesman said Yangon had offered 260 square metres (2,800 square feet) of land overlooking the attack site.

One of the two North Korean agents arrested after the attack was later executed, while the other received a life sentence after admitting that he had been operating under orders from Pyongyang.

The communist North has never admitted responsibility.

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