About one hundred and fifty Vietnam war veterans--some wielding crutches and artificial limbs--clashed with riot police in the grounds of the Japanese Embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Saturday (9 September).
GV PAN DOWN Japanese Embassy to war veterans gathering in forecourt
TV Veterans fright riot police (2 shots)
TV Riot police & veterans fighting. Veteran in F/G seizes policeman and butts him with head
SCU Riot police sand guard
SV Veterans hold sit down meeting outside Embassy (4 shots)
SV Veterans with banner sitting outside Embassy
SV Police official speaks to demonstrators
GV Demonstrators seated with placards
Initials BB/1155 DME/AW/BB/1208
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Background: About one hundred and fifty Vietnam war veterans--some wielding crutches and artificial limbs--clashed with riot police in the grounds of the Japanese Embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Saturday (9 September).
The veterans had broken into the Embassy grounds to protest against a Japanese newspaper which had published a special edition highlighting the political scene in North and South Korea. The article which particularly angered the veterans suggested that South Korean troops had been "used" by the United States as a shield in the Vietnam war. The same article describes South Korea as a "running dog of United States imperialism."
After scuffling in which both veterans and police received considerable bruising, the demonstrators were hustled onto the pavement outside. There, they sat down--and stayed for four hours before being persuaded to disperse by a police official.
The South Korean Government has apologised to the Japanese Embassy for damage caused to the grounds and building.
SYNOPSIS: Once evicted from the Embassy grounds, the veterans sat down on the pavement outside and continued their protest. Their anger has been reinforced by words of complaint from many political leaders in South Korea, who've described the newspaper article as criminal, prejudiced, or simply leftist-oriented. South Korea has kept a force of about 40-thousand men in South Vietnam. They are due to being withdrawing in December.
A police official pleaded with the demonstrators to disperse--and finally, after four hours seated on the pavement, the veterans went home.