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The World

June 21, 1989

The United States has formally denied it played a role in the military suppression of a 1980 uprising in the South Korean city of Kwangju, officials said. The official death toll in the incident is about 200, although dissidents put the figure much higher. The U.S. State Department clarified its position in a letter to a parliamentary committee investigating the nine-day armed revolt. The panel had asked whether Washington condoned the Seoul government's plan to suppress the pro-democracy demonstrators. Opposition leaders alleged that the United States permitted the crackdown by releasing two South Korean army divisions from the operational control of the U.S. military commander in Seoul. The United States said the divisions were not under its control.

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