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Kim expresses regret over police crackdown

Posted April. 17, 2001 18:41,   


President Kim Dae-Jung Tuesday expressed deep regrets over the police violent action to crack down on the demonstrators of the Daewoo Motor labor union. Such a rare expression by the President is interpreted as stemming from a judgment that the controversy over the incident is showing signs of escalating to an element causing a social unrest.

The government earlier relieved the chief of the Pupyong Police Station and superintendent of the Inchon Metropolitan Policy Agency of their posts, calling them to account for the incident. But the punitive measures could not turn the worsened public opinion.

Rather, the labor circle is gearing up to launch an all-out political struggle connecting the incident to its traditional ``springtime struggle.`` Actually, some qualitative changes have taken place in the labor movement with the appearance of the new slogans for overthrowing the regime along with the existing catchphrases guarantee of their survival and opposition to restructuring.

Under this situation, some ruling camp leaders expressed fear that there is a possibility for the government and the ruling party may be beleaguered by opponents in case the labor circle embarks on anti-government struggle. So, they decided to take measures not to further stimulate the labor circle, and the President expressed such deep regrets, according to sources.

Yun Seung-Mo ysmo@donga.com