Students, Riot Police Clash Protesters Demand That Ex-Presidents Be Punished For Part In Deaths 15 Years Ago

Students clashed with police for a second day Tuesday, hurling hundreds of firebombs and burning symbols of the U.S. and South Korean governments to demand punishment for two former presidents.

Riot police blocked about 300 students trying to march on the homes of former Presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, and fired dozens of volleys of tear gas to disperse the protesters.

The students want Chun and Roh punished for the deaths of 200 civilians in a pro-democracy uprising 15 years ago. Chun and Roh had headed the junta that sent troops to suppress the uprising.

The protesters fought back with about 200 firebombs, most of which missed their mark but left the street in front of Hongik University streaked with fire.

“Punish the butchers!” the students shouted, as paper effigies of the ex-presidents and current President Kim Young-sam were quickly consumed by fire. They also burned an effigy draped in a U.S. flag.

The protesters were angry at Kim for not ordering Chun and Roh punished. Kim, a former dissident, has said old wounds should be left to heal.

Activists also have accused the U.S. military of having condoned the troop deployment.

Washington has denied any involvement.


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