After six weeks of unending candlelight vigils and street protests in Korea, the mainstream US media is finally taking notice of the events, as the massive demonstrations suggest a historical parallel from the late 80s when the military-dominated government yielded to public pressure and implemented democratization measures and paved a way for civilian-run government.
Somehow, embattled Lee Myung-bak has resorted to similar responses of the military dictators of the past: rough police crackdown, attemps to ban public demonstrations, denial of public sentiments and public discourse, and false allegation of "subversive forces." No wonder why Korean citizens are demanding the ouster of "dictatorial government of Lee Myung-bak."
Here is an analysis from The New York Times:
When tens of thousands of South Koreans spilled into central Seoul on Tuesday in the country’s largest antigovernment protest in 20 years, the police built a barricade with shipping containers. [see photo] They coated them with oil and filled them with sandbags so protesters could not climb or topple them to march on President Lee Myung-bak's office a couple of blocks away. Faced with the wall, people pasted identical leaflets on it, their message dramatically summarizing Mr. Lee’s image and alienation from many of his people: “This is a new border for our country. From here starts the U.S. state of South Korea.” More