CIVIL UNREST CONTINUES IN SOUTH KOREA

Created: 4/21/1960

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY REVIEW0

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CIVIL UNREST CONTINUES IN SOUTH KOREA

the suppressionarge-scale violence by tbeol martial la* In Seoul and other major populationthere may be further mass upheavals. The spontaneous violence that has ripped the capital and other majorcenters stems from public outrage over the Rhee regime's increasing use of police-state tactics during tbe past year, culminating ln tbe rigged presidential elections onarch. The regime now mustwhether to continue, and perhaps Increase, harshmeasures or to make which may endanger its existence.

At the height of theln Seoul, antudents andpersons battled police and attempted to break .Into--thepalace.ere killed and wellounded by police gunfire. Only after the arrival of troopsemblance of order restored. In South Korea's second largest city, Pusan,ttacked police.

Following the brutal police suppression ofreat many students, in the soutbsrn port city of Masan on election day, Rhee accepted tbeof the unpopular homeand made other tokento public indignation. As late aspril, however, Rhee gave American Ambassador McConaugby no indication of recognizing the basic Issues or of making any effectivemoves.

On the contrary, he has been isolated from the true state of the crisis by hisand seemingly continues to believe that tbe massduring the past month is the workmall group ofand agitators manipulated by the Communists. Rhee has been "deeply impressed" by the concern shown by McConaugby, President Elsenhower, andHerter over his personal "welfare and safety."

Rbee onpril accepted the resignation of bis cabinet, thus attempting to placeabove the debacle by having his subordinates take theReportedly slated for key positions ln tbe neware Yl Pom-wok* former strong man or the disbanded National Youth Corps; Pyon Yong-tae,ai nonentity who once served as prims minister, and Hoighly competent politician and former mayor of Seoul and adviser to Rhee who has been out of favor with the Presidentumber of years. Theof Yi Pom-sokeported Rheeofpril that he did not conteaplats any easing of police-state methods, and that those who took part in the dem-onstratlons would be treated as traitors to their country.

Leaders of Rhoe's Liberal party have been divided between the advocatesarsh policy and those who propose Many of the latter,bave closely supported the government's repressive tactics and ara now only maneuvering for increased power within tbe party.

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CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY REVIEWpril0

US Embassy Id Seoul hasnoted that manybelieved the regime was "deliberately and Inexorably"absolutism. One

party memberbackbone ol tbe new party structure built for the elections was patterned on the Chinese Nationalist Kuoaln-tang.

The resentment wblchthe present violencewill remaintbe nationare effected.has observedshort of new,nationalleast for the vicewill cope

lect Yi Ki-pung might resign.

Motivated by frustration over their future and outraged by recent police torturing and snooting of their companions, college and high school students have been in the forefront of the demonstrations and violence. The government has announced thatersons seized by the police la Masan were tortured. After the proclamation oflaw onpril, Army Chief of Staff Lt. Own. Sens; Yo-cAaa*receiving reports ol police "reprisals" against ths demonstrators. He stated that although he ordered suchstopped immediately, he did not know if bis orders were carried out. He added that during the rioting, the police "lost their heads" and "wererenzy."

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Since the populacebears less animosity toward the military forces than toward thepeople of one Seoul area reportedly look on

the troops asof tbe tropps to maintain order are less likely tofurther violence.

In any event, the armed forces are strong enough tothe will of the government. The South Korean Army counter intelligence corps, however, has shown some concern over the loyalty of tbe Junior officers and enlisted men, and someofficers have expressed regret over the army's role ln tbe elections. Thereos-siblity that in the absence of constructive aotlon by Rhee and with contlnusd unrest, the armed forces might Intervene toa temporary government acceptable to the people and to provide eventually for free elections.

During the disturbances there were no reportsanti-American sentiment, althougb the governmentbad attempted to Implysupport for Its actions.'Tbe police announced onpril that the tear-gas bombs used to restore order in Masan werethrough the US aid imilar maneuver last year, the authorities based the closing of the outspoken pro-ppposition Kyonghysn^ Slnmun, the country's second largest newspaper,S militaryordinance rather than on the then newly revisedSecurity Law. Thebad been strongly condemned for resorting to force to pass the revised law, which gave it virtually summary powers to suppress all criticism of the government.

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Although the authorities-including Presidentattempted to attribute theto Communist subversion, there bas been no reliable

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CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY REVIEW

were used to quell the.rioters ln Seoul. orth Koreanstated, "The weapoos of the US imperialists are forthe people." ang'e commentary, although pledging sympathy and support for the demonstrators, has given no indication that the rlote were Communist inspired or that North Korea lntende to Intervene

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There were some Indications that the North Korean Air Force and air defense organizations were placed on an alert status during the riots, but bypril their activities had turned to normal. There have been no other reflectione of North Korean military reaction^ to the disturbances, and the air activity probably consisted of precautionary defensiverather than^reparations

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