Student dies in S. Korea protest

Published May 26, 1991|Updated Oct. 13, 2005

Police repulsed an attack by thousands of students on a South Korean ruling party office early today, and a female student died in Seoul amid anti-government violence across the country. A violent battle broke out in the southwestern city of Kwangju when more than 5,000 students, armed with steel pipes and gasoline bombs, tried to storm local offices of the ruling Democratic Liberal Party.

The violence followed a boisterous, but generally peaceful funeral in Kwangju for a student protest suicide victim, drawing more than 50,000 mourners.

A third-year student at Seoul's Sungkyunkwan Confucian University, Kim Kwi-jong, 25, was killed Saturday night when police used teargas on about 5,000 protesters on a main road near the city center.

The cause of her death was not immediately clear. Witnesses quoted by Seoul media said she apparently was trampled underfoot as other students fled police.

It was the latest in a series of deaths and life-threatening injuries since riot police in Seoul battered to death student protester Kang Kyung-dae on April 26, sparking a month of turmoil that forced President Roh Tae Woo to replace his prime minister.

Seven people have committed suicide to protest the young man's killing. Three others attempted suicide; two of them remain in the hospital with critical injuries.

State radio said violent clashes also took place Saturday in Pusan, the country's second-largest city and a major port. Clashes also were reported in Taegu, Ulsan and other areas as thousands of students and dissidents denounced Roh.