Chun Arrives For Meetings With Reagan
WASHINGTON (AP) _ South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan arrived Thursday for meetings with President Reagan and other U.S. officials, while critics of his regime renewed protests and announced plans to demonstrate during his 40-hour visit.
Chun, his wife and aides landed at nearby Andrews Air Force Base after a flight from Los Angeles where they spent Wednesday night.
Protests led by scholars in Asian affairs, civil rights activists and Korean residents of the United States included claims that anti-Americanism in South Korea is being generated by the Reagan administration’s backing of Chun, who came to power in a 1979 military coup.
″Erosion of good will toward the United States is attributable to the perception that Washington supported Mr. Chun in each step of his bloody seizure of power and continues to endorse his dictatorial rule,″ said an open letter to Reagan published as an advertisement in Thursday’s New York Times.
It bore the name of the Washington area-based Council for Democracy in Korea and names of other groups critical of the Seoul government and of more than 50 Koreans and Americans with addresses in East Coast states, Illinois and California.
The protest groups used a symbol they referred to as ″the Massacre of Kwangju,″ a splash of red and the Korean characters for Kwangju, South Korea, site of a bloody nine-day civilian insurrection against military rule that cost hundreds of lives in May 1980.
A former Peace Corps worker in South Korea, Temple University student Dave Dolinger, told an anti-Chun news conference that he witnessed troops charging and bayoneting students at Kwangju.
″By the time I left, I had lost about 10 good friends,″ Dolinger said.
State Department spokesman Edward Djerejian has said that during their meeting Reagan and Chun would air their concern over the continuing deployment of North Korean forces closer to the demilitarized zone separating South Korea from the communist-ruled North. Other U.S. officials said Reagan would underscore a firm U.S. security commitment at a time of rising tension on the Korean peninsula.