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“Seoul in Crisis because of Anti-Americanism and Pyongyang` Nukes”

“Seoul in Crisis because of Anti-Americanism and Pyongyang` Nukes”

Posted June. 22, 2003 22:08,   


At a street rally against North Korea`s production of nuclear weapons and its leader Kim Jong-il in front of City Hall in central Seoul on Saturday, some one hundred thousand participants insisted that the Korean-U.S alliance be strengthened.

Members of conservative groups, including the Christian Council of Korea and the Korea Freedom League, participated and there were prayers marking the anniversary of the June 25 Korean War.

During the rally, some protesters unfurled the Korean national flag and the Stars and Stripes over their heads while some unsuccessfully tried to set the North`s flag on fire. As the police put out the burning flag with an extinguisher, the participants were seen scuffling with police.

Also, five to six participants protested when police stopped them from entering the rally place because they were carrying a model missile in their vehicle. Some reservists participated wearing their military uniforms.

The nation is facing a crisis because the Korea Teachers and Workers Union has instilled anti-Americanism in students, said Lee Sang-jin, head of the national association of the principals of elementary, middle and high schools.

Other participants also contend that because of anti-Americanism and North Korea`s nuclear ambitions, the nation and its people are in a crisis.

Among the participants were the Rev. Cho Yong-ki of Full Gospel Church in Seoul, the Rev. Kim Jang-wan of Suwon Central Baptist Church, Bong Doo-wan, former deputy head of the South Korean Red Cross, and singer Kim Heung-guk.

The rally ended at 7:30 p.m. without any serious injuries.

Sun-Woo Kim sublime@donga.com