Some 40,000 American troops have been kept in South Korea, ostensibly to protect it against North Korea, really at least as much to protect dictatorship and American investments against the South Korean people. Last year the fabric was shaken by the assassination of President Park by one of his own myrmidons. In May 1980 demonstrations and rioting against army rule broke out; the city of Kwangju in the southwest was taken over by students and other remonstrants, until the army moved in and crushed them. Their demand was for free election and freedom of speech, the last things Washington could be expected to welcome; having lately lost Iran, it had no desire to lose South Korea as well. It was content to express mild disapproval of the excesses of martial law, but very faintly, almost inaudibly, for the record, while continuing to thunder against the presence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. In Taiwan likewise political trials go on, dissidents disappear into prison cells, and President Chiang continues to bask in American favour, that of the Republican candidate particularly cordial.
America: The New Imperialism p. iii
V. G. Kiernan


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