A candidate is counted out

Ever since they shouldered their way to power in the wake of President Park Chung Hee's assassination last October, South Korea's military strongmen have pressed a campaign of "purification" against corruption. Last week the Martial Law Command announced the results of a monthlong investigation that followed the sudden arrest often of the country's most prominent citizens. Nine of the ten, it was charged, had chalked up a total of $142.1 million in ill-gotten wealth through "abuse of power."

The chief offender, according to the announcement: Kim Jong Pil, 54, head of the ruling Democratic Republican Party....

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