About 10,000 student radicals chanting "Free travel, total border opening!" rallied today to demand unrestricted travel to North Korea.
Some students at Seoul's Yonsei University, a focal point of many disturbances, slashed rolls of barbed wire with wire cutters to symbolize the breaking of barriers between the bitterly divided Koreas.
Earlier today, 79 students and dissidents were arrested at the sprawling U.S. 8th Army headquarters in central Seoul, five of them for ramming a car through the main gate.
The car, carrying dissidents and a radical student shouting "Drive out Yankees!" barged through the main gate but was surrounded by almost 50 riot police about 30 yards inside the facility. Police arrested the five occupants. There were no injuries.
Student leaders said thousands of people are expected to march to the border Wednesday to attend a unification rally at the truce village of Panmunjom. Students at the rally were chanting "Let's go north!"
The students also chanted, "Let's drive out the Yankees who block unification of the fatherland!" They were demanding the withdrawal of 43,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, claiming that their presence hinders dialogue with the North on the unification of the Korean Peninsula.
Dissident Roman Catholic priests and radical students staged protests demanding unification of North and South Korea at Freedom Bridge, a major access checkpoint to the border.
Dozens of radical students shouting "Unification!" tried to ram their way through guards at the bridge but were hauled away by riot police.
In Seoul, the government's Unification Ministry charged North Korea with blocking the first-ever proposed travel between citizens of the divided Koreas and urged Communist North Korea to open its borders.
North Korea, in broadcasts monitored in Tokyo, made similar accusations against the South and accused Seoul of being "deceitful."
Under a South Korean proposal, the heavily armed border was to have opened for unrestricted travel to North Korea for five days, beginning Monday. But both sides failed to agree on procedures.