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December 18, 2006
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Approved For Release 2006/12/19: CIA-RDP96-00788R000300030016-4 THE 1W74SHlit 7 ill POST Thursdq+`, Septemhe.4.19 0 New Leaders in Seoul Exploit "General Yearning for Stability By William Chapman truth and helps them to swallow the His employers were forced to seek" Washington Post Foreign Service bitter political pills. his resignation, he explained, but SEOUL-Chin Soon Ja, a 35-year- Their response calls to mind the were able to soften his punishment by old, shopkeeper, is of two minds about haunting phrase Walter Lippmann transferring him to a less important once used to describe the acceptance the wave of purges, arrests and more of fascist governments in depression- position. Throughout the dinner, he subtle forms of repression that have ridden Europe during the 1920s and cast wary glances over his shoulder swept into every corner of life since -30s. The people accepted shackles on and fell silent when waiters havered their wrists, Lippmann wrote, to keep nearby. What would he do with his the South Korean military estab?, their hands from shaking. -.-life now? "From now on, I shall keep lished itself in absolute power last a very low profile," he said. Mav For thousands of citizens; of course, there has been no choice. Thousands The low profile is the solution of People are frightened by the arrests have been designated "hooligans" and - many. Dissidents who once sought outny and what she describes as "invisible marched off to reeducation camps.' -foreign journalists to advance their pressures" exerted by the govern- Thousands of government. officials, causes now do not return telephone- meet, she says. But uppermost in from top bureaucrats. to lowly tax as- calls. Those who do give interviews their minds, she thinks, is a desire for sessors, have been purged. Rich pea are swarmed over later by investiga-; economic stability after nearly a year ple are being. forced to give up their. . ,tors who want to know what the re- of turmoil and the advent of a severe fortunes and businesses required to Porters sought to find out. recession. Her sales are down 40 per- fire or demote persons whose views u, ;` Government surveillance and at-?` cent from a year ago and have been are unacceptable. ?,,,y, tempts at thought coutrois were facts.-: declining for months. "Actually, ordi- Most respond with quiet resigna-y, of life under the rule of the late press-''- nary people do not care much about tion. One prominent professional man; dent, Park Chung Hee. What Is differ- politics," she adds. "What we want is' sat recently in a Seoul restaurant Ono,- ent now, under Chuni, Doo Hwan, is The belief that what Koreans want hard all his life, rising from a plow sions. Especially in its later years, the most is a dose of stability seems to family, to, attain national promine4we Park government exhibited a some- ;`be widespread. It is a theme on which in his profession.A;e had been - what erratic and bumbling approach, the new government.: plays :skillfully: _. vately critical of the new g~av It = to keeping- citizens in line, which age south Kor nit has a? zing of' state. efficiency of, the Chun Ita_ An example is the new application;, of one of Park's favorite exercises,thei, saemaul, or "new community" move- ment. Saemaul is a government rural retreat at which businessmen and gov- ernment leaders are expected to un- dergo periodic spiritual renewal ses- sions heavily laced with 'propaganda. In Park's era, many prominent people scoffed at those sessions as boring and refused to attend. No longer. The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced that precisely 32,504 social leaders will undergo the ,spiritual renewal lectures. No one doubts that they will go. The chilling thought is how the government de? tides that exactly 32,504 people need` their spiritual life and devotion to country revitalized. The purges, arrests, and other re- prisals have extended into every seg- ment of Korean society and have ranged -far beyond the political Erne- mies who once went in and out of Park's jails with a revolving-door reg- ularity. Several of Park's owns "cronies have fallen victim to Churspurges and even one elk ntric.mystic t'bbught to have influenced Park's daughter is belief that under Park's waning rule a? under house arrest. , sense of corruption had come to pear' Even popular music has not es- evade South Korean society, encoa}r- caped. Twenty-four top entertainers aged from the top by greedy busmes#- have been banned from television and, men and favor-selling bureaucrats,*" radio, their careers in ruins, for what "Park had a soft Spot for those around, the newspapers described as "their in him," said one highly placed official,. decent personal lives and debased "and did nothing to punish them singing." At the top of the list, ironi-. Another explanation is that, ChUn tally, was a pop singer, Sim Su Bong and his military cronies needed a pop-" who had been one of Park's favorites ular program to justify their own, a& and in whose arms Park reportedly cession to power. A, government.dffi ` died after being shot by an assassin in cial ~ agreed that in its early monthk" a dining hall last October. the military junta was extremely 4i ft, In none of these cases has the vie popular. Weeding out-the big wheelczrz: tim been permitted to defend himself dealers and the small-time puftkgi in a public hearing. The determina called "hooligans has a certain;ap- tion of guilt is made solely by military peal to the average Korean who puts investigators. People confess to h o , in an honest day's work and who hair liganism" or to amassing illicit weeth` never shared in the spoils of economic education camp or a surrender of fi#r that, one g rwnent offxrial plainer ;: The rovernmeldt's`' justificatf tI A'idt tit nn' + "It's a good thing fora lot of people to see them clean up on the hoodlna4p r 'y c a n before,,' any: dfjthe? .'' Approved For Release 2006/12/19: CIA-RDP96-00788R000300030016-4