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Seoul Police Keep Dissident Kim From Meeting by Blocking Car

November 11, 1986|United Press International

SEOUL, South Korea — Dissident leader Kim Dae Jung confronted police for 2 1/2 hours today after they stopped his car in mid-town Seoul to prevent him from attending a meeting of his opposition political movement.

Kim stayed inside his car and blocked a busy intersection throughout the encounter, finally giving up his protest after about 40 followers, including five legislators, were taken away by police.

"It's outrageous, they have no right to block us," one of Kim's aides said.

Witnesses said Kim was driving through a downtown intersection near the Seoul City Hall on his way to the offices of the Council for the Promotion of Democracy, an opposition group led by Kim and fellow dissident Kim Young Sam.

About two blocks from the offices, where about 70 people had begun a 48-hour sit-in to protest a recent crackdown on political dissent, a police car pulled in front of Kim's sedan, forcing it to a halt.

Kim's aides said the police ordered the opposition leader to return home but Kim refused, remaining in the car and blocking traffic. Supporters and opposition legislators rushed to his defense, encircling the car.

At the height of the confrontation, witnesses said, dozens of protesters, about 200 plainclothes police, 80 reporters and at least 600 onlookers surrounded the car.

After an hour and a half police began rounding up the dissidents, arresting about 40 people who chanted slogans as they were pushed into police buses.

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