SOUTH KOREA: Park's Man Takes Power

A "caretaker"in Seoul

To campus dissidents who still resent his long association with the past regime, he is the "dictator's henchman." To almost everybody else in South Korean politics, however, he is perhaps the most skilled and experienced civil servant in the land and an incorruptible "Mr. Clean" who has always put duty above ambition. Even opposition party leaders give him considerable credit for having kept the country calm in the traumatic aftermath of President Park Chung Hee's assassination on Oct. 26.

Last week Choi Kyu Hah, 60, the 6-ft, mild-mannered career bureaucrat who served as Foreign Minister and Premier under Park...