Hundreds of radical students demanding the Olympics be stopped, burned U.S. flags and yelled "Drive out the Yankees" Tuesday in scattered protests.
About 100 students taking part in a protest at Donguk University in central Seoul burned a huge U.S. flag outside the Shilla Hotel where the International Olympic Committee is staying.Riot police in green combat fatigues and black visored helmets watched, but did not intervene as jeering students burned the flag and shouted slogans after marching out the main gate of the school across the road from the hotel.
"Get out Yankees which support the dictatorial regime," the students chanted as the 10-foot-high flag, doused in gasoline, went up in a burst of orange flame.
Protesters dispersed peacefully after the incident and did not try to approach the heavily guarded hotel. Passersby ignored the protest.
During a rally at Donguk, the radicals demanded the Olympics be halted because they claimed the Games were being used by the United States, Japan and South Korea to stage military maneuvers. The Games run through Oct. 2.
U.S. and Japanese forces are helping South Korea protect the Olympics from any potential threat from communist North Korea.
The United States has some 42,000 troops based in the south under a defense treaty.
Some 400 students later held a peaceful anti-government protest at Konkuk University where they torched an effigy with a U.S. flag painted on it and burned another large American flag.
Student leaders denounced the South Korean and U.S. governments, charging they were using the Olympics to continue authoritarian rule.
"We will continue to fight to topple the fascist regime and the United States that support luxurious Olympics which oppress the poor," a student leader told the crowd at Konkuk.
"Oppose dictatorial Olympics," students chanted.
Small, peaceful anti-government protests were reported on some other Seoul campuses.
North Korea is boycotting the Olympics because its demand to co-host the Games was rejected. South Korean officials fear the north may stage a terrorist attack to disrupt the Games.
Radical students, opposed to the Olympics because North Korea is not participating, have staged a number of protests in recent days.