Rep. Stephen Solarz {op-ed, Dec. 27} accepts the legitimacy of the electoral outcome in South Korea, contending that the process was relatively fair and that Roh Tae Woo's victory margin of 2 million votes was too large to have been manufactured by fraud.

If voting and ballot counting went honestly, why did the government stop an independent vote count by the National Coalition for Democracy, a nonpartisan coalition of 26 labor, intellectual and religious groups? The NCD tally, halted after 62.2 percent of the votes were tabulated, showed considerable discrepancy from the government figures. If manipulation was immaterial to the election results, why did the government confiscate 2,000 copies of an NCD report that documents widespread fraud?

Rep. Solarz also concludes that "the regional breakdown of the results {was} . . . what one would have expected" because the two Kims scored decisively in their home regions.

But highly anomalous voting patterns emerged in key areas. For example, in 14 of the 15 electoral districts in Seoul, with 25 percent of the national votes, Kim Dae Jung came out on top. He was first in most of the 420 or so precincts in these districts. Curiously, however, in one precinct in each of the districts, Mr. Roh out-polled Kim Dae Jung heavily, while trailing him elsewhere in Seoul. This anomaly enabled Mr. Roh to stay close to Kim Dae Jung and to finish ahead of Kim Young Sam in Seoul. In Inchon, which is a geographic and demographic extension of Seoul, Mr. Roh led Kim Dae Jung by a 2-to-1 margin, an inexplicably sharp reversal of the trend in Seoul.

Condescendingly remarking that "electoral chicanery has even taken place in Brooklyn," Rep. Solarz asserts that the electoral process was legitimate unless fraud and abuses altered its outcome. But how can the extent of wrongdoing be chronicled and its significance assessed when the government prohibits an independent verification of the official vote count and documentation of fraud?

Koreans can ill afford to treat electoral shenanigans as trite and inconsequential because they may again raise their ugly heads in the upcoming National Assembly election and future presidential elections. Even if fraud did not figure in the outcome of the December contest, only an immediate, open and full investigation can point up ways to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence. Otherwise, Korean democracy will stall at the gate. It is inappropriate and ill-advised, therefore, for an American congressman to discount the significance of electoral abuses.

Rep. Solarz's cavalier comments on electoral fraud have only agitated the already angry students and religious groups. Their anti-Americanism has its origin in the presumed complicity of the United States in the May 1980 Kwangju massacre and in the Reagan administration's Korea policy -- which has consistently backed the Chun dictatorship.

This brings into question Jarol Manheim's argument {op-ed, Dec. 30} that Koreans are anti-American because of "a new assertiveness . . . of their independence and national pride," "{r}ather than inherently negative feelings about the United States." Anti-Americanism is a worrisome development that demands a critical evaluation of U.S. policy toward Korea, not a positive phenomenon from which Americans can walk away, congratulating Koreans for their newly found "independence" and "pride."

The condescension, bad timing and inaccuracy of the remarks of Rep. Solarz and Mr. Manheim are certain to add more fuel to anti-American feelings in South Korea. Silence would have been golden in this case. CHOI SUNG-IL Executive Director, Korean Institute for Human Rights Alexandria