With the ousting of Syngman Rhee, the task of ensuring that South Korea did not slip from autocracy into anarchy fell upon the republic's Acting President and its top soldier. Both are able, honest and widely respected. And both have had personal experience of the arrogant maladministration that brought South Korea to its present pass.

Acting President Huh Chung, 64, is a scholarly, energetic ex-journalist whose ability repeatedly brought him jobs in Rhee's government and whose principles repeatedly got him fired. As Rhee's first Transportation Minister, Huh (rhymes with "uh") ran Korea's railroads with what admirers called "American hustle," and as Minister...

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