SOUTH KOREA: Harsh Politics

Eliminating the opposition

Handcuffed and flanked by helmeted military policemen, South Korea's leading dissident Kim Dae Jung, 54, went on trial in Seoul last week on charges of trying to overthrow the government. Kim, once a leading candidate for his country's presidency, has been under arrest since last May. Dressed in a baggy white suit, with the number 201 stenciled on his tunic, he looked haggard and subdued as the 154-page indictment was read.

Kim's trial, which could last for several months, might result in a death sentence. His prosecution was clearly a key step in the effort by South Korea's...

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