President Roh Tae-woo will make a televised appeal to South Koreans Saturday to pardon former strongman Chun Doo Hwan, but unforgiving dissident groups have vowed to mark the day with huge street protests.
Roh, facing the tough task of calming public anger over human rights abuses and corruption in the eight-year rule of Chun, is also set to announce a package of measures to heal the scars of the past, ruling party officials said on Friday.They said these might include the release of political prisoners and compensation for victims of the army's crushing of a 1980 civilian uprising in the southwestern city of Kwangju.
Chun went into provincial exile at a remote Buddhist temple on Wednesday after making a public apology and handing over to the state his residence, his personal fortune and more than $20 million in state funds.
Chun had agreed to these measures as part of a compromise thrashed out with Roh's government in an attempt to halt months of demonstrations calling for his arrest.
The country's restless students and dissidents, however, say Chun has not paid enough for his misdeeds and have called protests in Seoul and seven other major cities for Saturday to demand the government arrest Chun and put him on trial.