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From sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu Sun Jun 3 15:41:37 2001
Subject: South Korean Students protest US interference
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 15:30:40 -0400

South Korean radical students stage anti-US protests

AFP, Sunday 3 June 2001, 5:47 PM

SEOUL, June 3 (AFP)—Thousands of South Korean radical students staged anti-US protests Sunday, accusing the administration of President George W. Bush of heightening tension on the Korean peninsula.

In the biggest anti-American demonstration here since Bush took office in January, 7,000 students urged the United States to revise what they called a hardline and hawkish stance toward North Korea.

Scuffles erupted when riot police set up tight human barricades with plastic shields and blocked the students from marching to the US embassy.

The protestors chanted Out with the United States which is heightening tension on the Korean peninsula. They also denounced US plans to build a missile defence system.

The demonstration was organized by Hanchongryon, a nationwide grouping of radical students, which has blamed the Bush administration for stalling an inter-Korean peace process.

Some 1,000 students staged a separate protest outside the main base of US forces in Seoul, demanding the withdrawal of 37,000 US troops stationed in South Korea.

Washington has yet to complete a review of its North Korea policy, but US officials have called for a strict verification of North Korean arms as a condition for the resumption of dialogue between the two sides.

The inter-Korean summit on June 15 last year prompted a wave of landmark events such as emotional reunions of relatives separated since the Korean War.

But the communist North, angered by a delay in talks with the United States, has suspended all contacts with the South.

Seoul wants Pyongyang to resume high-level talks to arrange a second summit between South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, who signed a watershed reconciliation accord last year in Pyongyang.

We support Kim Jong-Il’s visit to Seoul, Hanchongryon said in a statement.