Occupation of US Cultural Service in Seoul

This struggle in 1985, followed by the arson attacks in Kwangju and Pusan in 1980 and 1982 and the blasting attack in Taegu in 1983, was the last of the strikes at the four US cultural services in south Korea. It lasted from 12:00 on May 23 to 12:00 on May 26.

Students numbering 73 from Seoul, Koryo, Yonsei, Songgyungwan and Sogang universities joined the struggle.

Around at noon on the 23rd the attackers instantly brought under their control the reading hall on the first floor of the US institution and then blocked it up. They called up the general students council of their universities and a broadcasting station, asking them to notify their colleagues of the fact that they occupied the institution. They put up slogans on the windows and walls of the building and scattered leaflets.

They shouted slogans such as “US, Go Out”, “US, Take the Blame for Situation in Kwangju and Openly Apologize”, “US Is to Blame for Massacre in Kwangju”, “The Truth of Situation in Kwangju and Those Who Are to Blame for Kwangju Massacre Must Be Made Public before People”, “US, Stop Support for Military Dictatorship”, “Chun Doo Hwan, Step Down” and “Down with Military Junta”.

The students held out having nothing but salt and water for meals and demanded formal dialogue with the US side.

Consequently, 11 rounds of dialogue took place between both sides. Eventually the US side had no other option but to admit that a martial army was committed to put down the uprising in Kwangju under its approval.

As there was no tangible progress in the dialogue, the students released their occupation of the institution in view of the North-South Red Cross Talks to be held on May 28.

The occupation of the US Cultural Service in Seoul by the south Korean students gave a telling blow to the US imperialists. It laid bare the crimes of the US imperialists, the colonial ruler of south Korea and the mastermind behind the massacre in Kwangju.

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