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Anti-U.S. Protests in South Korea

January 28, 1999

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Hundreds of militant students demanded the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea on Thursday in violent protests in Seoul and three other cities.

Several students were reported injured but none of them seriously.

In Seoul, 600 students, throwing rocks, clashed with police and burned a U.S. flag and an effigy of President Clinton.

``Let’s kick the U.S. out and unify our fatherland,″ the students chanted during a rally at Hanyang University where many waved anti-U.S. banners and placards.

Students argued that 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea under a defense treaty blocks the unification of South Korea and North Korea.

In Pusan, South Korea’s second largest city on the south coast, 300 students briefly clashed with riot police after a campus rally in which they burned an effigy of Clinton wrapped in a U.S. flag, the national Yonhap news agency said.

In Kwangju, a major southern provincial city, 300 students were blocked from marching into the streets after an anti-U.S. rally at Chosun University, Yonhap said.

A similar but smaller anti-U.S. protest was reported in the southeastern city of Taegu, the agency said.

The students, all members of Hanchongryon, a student group outlawed for its pro-North Korea stance, issued statements supporting Pyongyang’s claim that the United States is planning to wage war on the Korean peninsula.

The two Koreas fought a devastating, three-year war that ended without a peace treaty in 1953, and mutual distrust remains deep.

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