The Press: Korea's Mute Press

From the back of the crowded, floodlit assembly room in Seoul's government headquarters came the question that was on everybody's mind. "Are you aware, General Pak," a Korean reporter ventured hesitatingly, "that the newspapers are afraid to criticize you?" Major General Pak Chung Hi, the flinty, gimlet-eyed boss of the junta that seized power in May, snapped back impatiently: "This is the first time I have heard of it. If this allegation is true, it is because you journalists are chicken-hearted."

Last week South Korea's press, which serves a nation of 24.5 million...

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