Police Storm Campus to Block Showing of North Korean Film
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ For the third time in a week, riot police stormed a university campus today, firing tear gas to disperse students watching a banned film from Communist North Korea.
At the same time, top opposition leader Kim Dae-jung ended his 10th day of hunger strike against the government. Kim’s party said 142 lawmakers and party members had joined the hunger protest to force democratic reform.
Such protests sometimes give foreigners the impression that all South Korea is in turmoil, even though only a small percentage of the nation’s people have joined the latest anti-government protests.
That perception could discourage U.S. boys and girls from taking part in next year’s World Scout Jamboree, according to the event’s organizer, Kim Suk- won. He said today that American parents who often see such protests on television don’t want their children to participate.
″We have an image problem,″ said Kim, who heads the Boy Scouts of Korea.
He said his committee may fall short of achieving its goal of attracting 20,000 foreign scouts for the 17th annual jamboree in August next year.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Kim Dae-jung ended his hunger strike today, two days after being admitted to a hospital as his health deteriorated.
The 66-year-old Kim, head of the leading opposition Party for Peace and Democracy, said he would continue his fast under 24-hour medical observation.
Opposition protesters demand, among other measures, early elections for local self-rule and an end to efforts by the ruling party to change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary.
Supporters believe that Kim, a two-time opposition presidential candidate, stands a better chance for the presidency in a direct, popular voting. The next presidential election is expected in late 1992.
In Seoul today, police firing tear gas stormed two universities to break up anti-government rallies by hundreds of radical students shouting for the overthrow of President Roh Tae-woo.
About 1,500 riot police, backed by armored vehicles equipped with tear gas, burst into Korea University in eastern Seoul to drive off 600 students watching a banned North Korean film. ″Down with Roh Tae-woo 3/8″ students shouted as they fled, hurling rocks and firebombs.
It was the third time in a week police have stormed schools to block a showing of the film, titled ″Salt Salesman.″
It reportedly supports a revolutionary cause. Police seized a projecter, but students fled with the film.
In western Seoul, police firing tear gas moved into Hongik University to disperse 300 students holding an anti-government rally. Students hurling rocks and firebombs clashed with police for an hour.
Anti-government campus demonstrations have waned in recent months as radical students have lost public support because of their violent tactics.