Student Protests at Yonsei University

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Date: 1988

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Public Art


Artist: Student protesters

Confronting Bodies: South Korean Government

Dates of Action: June 9, 1988

Location: Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Description of Artwork: "... An estimated 10-15,000 students rallied on June 9, 1988 at Yonsei University in support of the reunification of North and South Korea... "

The Incident: "... A week earlier, the government had announced a liberalisation of its policy on public discussion of reunification, which, in previous years, had been strictly prohibited. However, a planned march to the border village of Panmunjom, where students hoped to discuss reunification with a delegation of North Korean students, was blocked by the mobilization of more than 50,000 police. The government characterised the march as a propaganda exercise. "Yonhap," the state news agency, reported demonstrations at 57 Universities nationwide, resulting in 200 arrests... "

Results of Incident: "... The student protests were a contributing factor to what may be a major shift in South Korean policy toward the North. In an attempt to forestall independent student efforts to meet with their counterparts, the government has put forth its own proposals aimed at "South-North reconciliation and cooperation."

Source: Asia Watch, "Freedom of Expression in the Republic of Korea," August, 1988, Pg. 21-23