South Korea: Under Siege

As unrest spreads, South Korea faces a crisis of Olympic proportions

Charging into a crowd of several thousand protesting students one night last week in the huge square in front of the Bank of Korea, a unit of 80 riot police suddenly found themselves cut off from reinforcements. A sea of chanting demonstrators quickly surrounded the police, who had already used up their supplies of pepper gas, a concentrated and particularly painful form of tear gas. Outnumbered and overwhelmed, the police, many of them young conscripts, knelt in terror behind their riot shields, trying to fend off a torrent of rocks and gas canisters thrown by the students. The protesters began beating...

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