South Korea: Remembering Kwangju

Remembering Kwangju

Every year South Korean demonstrators take to the streets on the anniversary of the 1980 uprising in Kwangju, which was violently crushed by security forces in clashes that left at least 191 dead. Thus it came as no surprise when mobs of student protesters sparred with policemen in Seoul last week and tossed homemade bombs at the U.S. embassy. The demonstrations were fueled by a grisly incident: the ritual suicide of a 24-year-old chemistry student, Cho Sung Man, who stabbed himself in the stomach and jumped off a four-story building to protest the detention of political prisoners.

On the whole, however,...

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