SOUTH KOREA: Freedom's Price

In the dead of night last week in Seoul, the police cordon around the nondescript house of Dae Jung Kim soundlessly evaporated. President Chung Hee Park's government declared that there was "no longer" any need to hold the controversial opposition leader under protective custody. For the first time since he was mysteriously abducted from a Tokyo hotel room 2½ months ago, Dae Jung Kim was free.

Or was he? In the hours following the end of his house arrest, there were clear indications that Kim, 48, had paid for his release with a...

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