Prime Minister Ro Jai-bong quit Wednesday in an attempt to defuse nationwide demonstrations against the government, but a top opposition leader repeated demands for major reforms.
In the southern city of Kwangju, a construction worker set himself on fire and jumped from the roof of a hospital morgue to protest the government of President Roh Tae-woo. It was the ninth such incident since the unrest began a month ago with the fatal beating of a student by police.Ro, who was appointed to the largely ceremonial job six months ago, took responsibility for the violent protests that have plunged the government into its most serious political crisis.
A replacement was not named immediately, but the resignation was not likely to calm protesters, who have been demanding the ouster of the entire Cabinet.
"The real question is not the resignation, but who will replace him," said Kim Dae-jung, head of the main opposition New Democratic Party. "The people want reform, and they don't want to be disappointed."
Roh has made broad democratic reforms since taking office, but dissidents, students and opposition leaders say he has backtracked in the past year.
Presidential sources said a Cabinet reshuffle was likely. News reports said amnesty for some political prisoners was expected by week's end, as the governing Democratic Liberal Party struggled to come to grips with the crisis.