Radical student leaders said Tuesday they will not give up their anti-government struggle but admitted they failed to gain public support to share the Olympics Games with communist North Korea.
Leaders told 1,500 cheering supporters at Yonsei University in Seoul they will continue pressing for reunification of the divided Korean peninsula. They also said they will have to make a greater effort to gain public support."We have to admit the road to unification is still too far and there lie many difficulties ahead. Further struggle is called for," said one student leader, Oh Yung-shik.
Riot police blocked students who tried to march out of Yonsei Monday to go the border truce site of Panmunjom for reunifiction talks with North Korean student delegates.
Police arrested about 2,000 students Monday who took part in demonstrations in Seoul after breaking up the march with tear gas and beating protesters. Most of the students were released after receiving warnings.
The government banned the march and the meeting with the North Korean students as a threat to national security. A similar march June 10 was blocked by police.
The students, many of them from colleges around the nation, left the college to return home after riot police surrounding the campus withdrew.
Tuesday, new violence broke out at Sogang University when students hurled firebombs and rocks at riot police after plainclothes police staged a raid and arrested 10 students.
The radical students back North Korea's demand to co-host the Olympics that begin Sept. 17 in Seoul. The International Olympic Committee has rejected the north's demand because the Games are awarded to a single city.
North Korea has said it will boycott the Games if it is not allowed to co-host.
The radicals, a small but powerful minority on campuses, have failed to gain public support because of their violent tactics and open advances to the communist north.