A group of prominent intellectuals have added their voices to the call for constitutional reforms in South Korea.
LV Interior delegates around table
CU Cardinal Kim Soo Hwan
CU Chun Kuwan-hu speaking
CU George Paik
CU Another delegate
SV Chung Kuwan-hu speaking
SV Newsmen (2)
SV Pail speaking
Initials SC/1950 SC/2108
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Background: A group of prominent intellectuals have added their voices to the call for constitutional reforms in South Korea.
Fifteen South Korean civic and religious leaders met at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) building in Seoul on Thursday (December 13). They urged President Park Chung-hee to carry out political reforms aimed at the restoration of democracy, and, in effect, demanded a new constitution.
The group included former South Korean President Yun Po Sun, Cardinal Kim Soo Hwan, the country's top Roman Catholic prelate, and Doctor George Paik, President Emeritus of the Yonsei University. Students at the University have staged rowdy protests recently against President Park's regime.
Early this month, the South Korean Cabinet resigned after two months of student protests. President Park formed a new Cabinet the same day, making appointments aimed at appeasing his critics.
In the following week, the President promised to guarantee freedom of the press, and ordered the immediate release of all students arrested in anti-government pretests since early October.
At Thursday's meeting of dissidents -- which lasted three hours -- Cardinal Kim Soo Hwan said the democratic system in South Korea had deteriorated since President Park scrapped the old constitution last year to gain vast new powers and a fourth terms as president.