Seoul Survivor

A fierce South Korean race puts an ex-dissident in the Blue House

THIS WAS A SPECIAL ELECTION FOR KOREANS, ONE that may well mark the completion of a long march from dictatorship to democracy. By electing former dissident Kim Young Sam, 65, as President, they have put into the Blue House, Korea's presidential residence, the first civilian in more than 30 years.

Two years ago, Kim, a perennial opponent of South Korean dictators, merged his opposition party with that of outgoing President Roh Tae Woo. The move surprised many but proved to be politically savvy. Running as the candidate of the predominant Democratic Liberal Party, Kim beat his longtime rival, the fiery populist...

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