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Security Tight as Candidates in S. Korea Hold Election Rallies

November 22, 1987|Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — Presidential candidates traded charges of corruption and cruelty Saturday as thousands of riot police stood guard to prevent attacks and violence by rival supporters.

Ruling party candidate Roh Tae Woo, visiting the central city of Taejon, attracted the largest crowd yet in his campaign. Korean news media estimated that about 400,000 people turned out to cheer him.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Defense Ministry announced that North Korean troops opened fire across the demilitarized zone Saturday, wounding a South Korean soldier. The South Korean side returned the fire, it said.

Roh and the top two opposition candidates--Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung--held rallies in different parts of the nation as they stepped up their campaigns for the Dec. 16 elections.

"The military rulers have been cunningly instigating regional animosity, a wicked evil which devastates the nation," Kim Young Sam told a rally in the southwestern city of Chonju.

Guarding the candidates were riot police and plainclothes officers. Police ordered the massive security after Roh, Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung were attacked at rallies in recent weeks.

In Taejon, Roh accused the opposition of fomenting violence and said they would plunge the country into chaos.

Kim Young Sam was received coolly in Chonju, a stronghold of Kim Dae Jung.

Kim Dae Jung accused the government of corruption and election fraud in rallies in small towns around Seoul.

The shooting incident at the DMZ was the second this year.

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