South Korean Youths Clash With Police After Briefly Blockading Opposition Rally
Thousands of youths threw gasoline bombs and shouted “down with dictatorship” in a clash with police Saturday after blockading an opposition rally.
Police officials said 15 protesters were detained. Earlier, youths beat drums and shouted anti-government and anti-American slogans to delay a rally by the opposition New Korea Democratic Party.
Students blocked leaders of the New Korea Democratic Party from attending the rally staged as part of an opposition campaign for direct elections. They were finally persuaded to let the party leaders enter a hall for the 2 1/2-hour rally in this city 125 miles south of Seoul.
Some dissidents suspect that the opposition will accept a parliamentary system of government, supported by President Chun Doo Hwan, rather than the direct presidential elections they now demand, as a replacement for the current electoral college system.
Chun’s party has agreed to revise the constitution jointly with the opposition by the end of the year.
On Friday, 16 anti-government demonstrators stormed an office of a Korean-American bank in the Seoul area, shouted anti-government and anti-American slogans, burned an American flag and broke windows. Police using water hoses and tear gas dispersed them after two hours. Four protesters jumped from second-floor windows of the Yongdungpo branch of the KorAm Bank onto mattresses and nets that police had spread on the ground.