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Growing Anger of Koreans over Acquittal of US Solders Who Killed School Girls

Growing Anger of Koreans over Acquittal of US Solders Who Killed School Girls

Posted December. 02, 2002 22:59,   


Against the acquittal of two US solders who murdered two Korean girls with an armored vehicle, more and more people are participating in candle-lit ceremonies and various rallies. In addition, demographically, participants are getting more diverse, attracting people of various age groups including teens and the elderly.

A new type of demonstration has emerged. Apart from activists, a family or a couple in a group of 2-3 are walking around the downtown Seoul with candles in their hands in a protest against the not-guilty verdict.

Furthermore, a non-profit foundation plans to host a cultural ceremony on the University Road on Dec. 6 to commemorate the slain two girls. In other words, protest against the verdict is spewing out in various forms.

▽ Candle-lit demonstrators leaving for US = 7 anti-US activists of Korea including Hong Geun-soo and Rev. Han Sang-ryol arrived in the United States on Dec. 2nd US EST. They plan to embark on their activities from Dec. 3rd. For example, they will hold a rally in front of the UN headquarters and on Times Square in New York to let the world know of US solders` slaying of two innocent Korean girls.

Then, in the evening, the activists and their US sponsors will hold a forum for the second-generation Koreans, and will explain the deaths and our reactions to them. After the explanation session, the participants will hold a discussion on it.

On the following 5th, they will hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., demanding the apology by President George W. Bush. Then on Dec. 7th, they are expected to hand over to the US government a letter signed by Koreans in protest against the acquittal.

▽ Widespreading rallies and demonstrations = At 3 p.m., Catholic Priests` Association for Justice holds a daily Mass at the Open Citizens` Park in Sejong Ro, Seoul, demanding responsible actions on the part of the US government. In addition, numerous celebrities like Kim Mi-hwa, Yoon Do-hyun, Chun Yoo-sung, Ahn Chi-hwan and Crying Nut will hold a "protesting press conference" at 11 a.m. today in front of KT headquarters located next to the US embassy. Further, the Pan-Koreans Committee promises to continue candle-lit ceremonies at 6 p.m. around Kwonghwa Moon.

The committee has confirmed that, so far, 23,000 messages have been posted on its electronic bulletin boards in protest of the not-guilty verdict. On the bulletin board of Daum, a major search engine in Korea, 140,000 protesting messages have been posted. In order to wage cyber-demonstrations, an online committee will be launched as early as this week.

kimsk@donga.com konihong@donga.com