(en) More Clashes In Seoul, South Korea

Arm The Spirit (ats@locust.etext.org)
Mon, 2 Jun 1997 01:04:39 -0400 (EDT)


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Kim Young Sam And Student Demos

By Lee Wha Rang http://www.kimsoft.com

Once again, tear gas fills the sky over South Korea and young Koreans are hurling Molotov cocktails at the police. With Kim Young Sam's power dissipating rapidly, some students see 'blood' and want to finish off Kim's regime. This time the Hanyang University campus is the scene of action. As in the case the Yonsei University incident, massive police force backed by helicopters smashed the student demonstration. South Korean TV showed police kicking and beating students with clubs. The students allege that Kim Young Sam's 1992 election was partly bankrolled by the Hanbo Group (more than $60 million) and $336 million from Dictator Roh Tae-woo. Kim Young Sam denies any wrongdoing claiming that he has not received a dime from anyone. His two sons are suspected of having managed Kim's financial affairs so that the older Kim may stay 'clean'. A father using his sons to do dirty works for him is not a pretty picture to see. South Korea's main opposition leader Kim Dae-jung claims that he has hard evidence to prove that Kim Young Sam is as corrupt as Roh and Chun - if not more. As Kim's power declines, there will be more and more witnesses and documents surfacing demasking Kim's carefully managed 'Mr. Clean' facade. Is there a jail cell with Kim Young Sam's name waiting for him?

Students Demanding South Korean President's Resignation Clash With Police

Associated Press, 05/31/97

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Thousands of students demanding President Kim Young-sam's resignation hurled firebombs at police Saturday in street clashes that turned Seoul's main boulevards into debris-strewn battlegrounds. Kim, trying to reverse his eroding political fortunes, offered a vague apology Friday for violating spending limits in his 1992 presidential campaign and urged South Koreans to focus on more pressing issues such as the economy. But 12,000 students shunned Kim's gesture, gathering in the streets of the capital to shake metal pipes and chant: "Kim Young-sam step down! Reveal the election funds!" In one clash, hundreds of students waved firebombs and hurled them in unison. Several policemen were engulfed in flames but were quickly rescued by reinforcements. Sporadic confrontations continued for hours as riot police lobbed volleys of tear gas to drive back students, only to retreat when students regrouped and retaliated with more firebombs. One student was hit by a firebomb thrown by a fellow student and suffered minor burns, witnesses said. The clashes forced shops to close and snarled traffic. About 330 students were detained for questioning in connection with protests in the past two days, but 219 of them were released, police said. Opposition parties say Kim spent 20 times the legal limit of $42 million for his 1992 election. One of the parties has said it has evidence to prove that but has not disclosed it. In a nationally televised speech Friday, Kim acknowledged he spent "a great sum" of money and apologized for "past wrongdoings". His statement was seen as all but conceding the accusations against him. But with elections scheduled late this year, the opposition was not about to relent. It rejected Kim's apology and said it would push for a legislative hearing and a special prosecutor to investigate his campaign spending. The opposition lacks enough seats in the National Assembly to force a parliamentary investigation. But it hopes to mobilize enough public support to force Kim's governing party to launch one. The campaign spending controversy, together with the arrest of one of Kim's sons on bribery charges, have helped revive the declining student movement at South Korea's universities - hotbeds of political activism and protest until the early 1990s. The students were already scheduled to gather for rallies to celebrate a new leadership of Hanchongryon, a nationwide group of student activists. Kim's political troubles gave the students another rallying cry. Police ruled Hanchongryon rallies illegal, but students in outlying provinces evaded police attempts to block them from traveling to Seoul for the demonstrations. Hanchongryon is accused of sympathizing with North Korea, Seoul's communist enemy. Last year, a 12-day standoff between police and supporters of the group left one police officer dead and more than 1,000 police and students were injured. A record 5,597 students were detained. The president's difficulties began in January, when Hanbo Steel Industry Co., the country's No. 2 steel mill, went bankrupt. Several key presidential aides are on trial on charges of taking bribes in exchange for arranging improper loans to the steel firm. Kim's second son, Hyun-chul, was arrested May 17 on charges of taking bribes from businessmen. The scandal is humiliating for the president, who has punished thousands of government officials and others for graft.

S. Koreans Demand Kim's Resignation; Riots Rage For Third Day

The Japan Times - June 2, 1997

SEOUL - South Korean students hurling rocks and firebombs fought riot police for a third straight day Sunday in street protests to demand President Kim Young-sam resign over his refusal to reveal his campaign funding. More than 3,000 students streamed towards Seoul's Hanyang University where riot police, backed by armored tear gas launchers, fired volleys of stinging tear gas to disperse them, witnesses said. Protesters fought back with firebombs and steel pipes. The riot was led by an outlawed leftist body, which the government brands a threat to national security as a stooge of rival North Korea. The three days of student violence, the worst in almost a year, has left large sections of Seoul littered with spent tear gas canisters and rubble. Earlier, students attempted to convene at City Hall but were turned back by a mass of riot police who cordoned off roads. Witnesses said hundreds of students yelled, "Bring down Kim Young-sam" and "Reveal the Election Funds". More than 10,000 students went on the rampage on Saturday. Some of the fiercest clashes occurred outside the luxury Shilla Hotel, a favorite for visiting heads of state. Tourist buses and limousines dodged rock-throwing students to get in and out, and had to ferry terrified passengers at high speed across sheets of fire set by petrol bombs. Full casualty details were not immediately available, but news photographs on Saturday dramatically captured a student with his clothes ablaze from a fire bomb hurled back at student lines by a police officer. Media reports said another student was in critical condition after suffering a heart attack during Friday's protests. South Korea's student movement, which seemed to have been crushed when 151 student leaders were jailed following a campus uprising last year, has revived on a popular wave of anger against the president.

Suppression Of "Hanchongryon"

Korean Central News Agency http://www.kcna.co.jp

Pyongyang, May 30 (KCNA) - The Kim Young Sam group are trying to block the fifth-term inaugural meeting of the South Korean Federation of University Student Councils (Hanchongryon) scheduled for May 30, according to a radio report from Seoul. A warrant for the arrest of the Chairman of "Hanchongryon" was issued to the south Korean police. The police is launching into a massive repressive campaign to arrest 17 hardcore members of the organization. The police is planning to stage searching operations at Hanyang University and six other universities in Seoul, which are considered a venue of the inaugural meeting. To crack down upon "Hanchongryon", the fascist police are describing the inaugural meeting as "profiting the enemy". Their suppression is a challenge to one million students of the organization and all the democratic forces of south Korea aspiring after independence, democracy and reunification.

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