AP NEWS
Related topics

A Glance at South Korea’s Political Situation With AM-South Korea Bjt

June 11, 1987

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ The recent wave of political unrest in South Korea centers on growing demands for full democracy and an end to the military-backed government.

At the heart of the problem is the desire of many Koreans to end the cycle of successive authoritarian governments that have dominated the country since its founding in 1948.

Koreans opposed to the government argue that a people responsible for the economic miracle that has transformed the country into a major industrial power must be given full political rights and freedom.

Opposition leaders called for a nationwide ″resistance″ campaign starting Wednesday to try to stop President Chun Doo-hwan’s Democratic Justice Party from continuing its rule for another seven years.

The party’s presidential convention on Wednesday endorsed Chun’s choice of close ally Roh Tae-woo to succeed him when his seven-year term runs out in February. Roh and Chun were former army generals when the military moved to take power in 1980.

Many Koreans have reacted with anger to Chun’s April 13 decision to call off talks with the opposition on political reform. Opposition leaders have been demanding a direct vote in presidential elections expected at the end of the year, instead of the electoral college system that is weighted in the government’s favor.

Chun and Roh have refused to back down on the suspension of talks, saying it was necessary to safeguard the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics and ensure national stability.