Ambassador William Gleysteen, who was recalled to Washington Oct. 6 to demonstrate U.S. displeasure with a political crackdown in South Korea, will return to Seoul when Defense Secretary Harold Brown goes there Wednesday for consultations, U.S. officials said yesterday.
Gleysteen was recalled following the ouster of Kim Young Sam, leader of the opposition to President Park Chung Hee, from South Korea's National Assembly. Last week, all 66 opposition members of the Assembly resigned to protest the action against Kim.
Despite Gleysteen's recall and a State Department statement declaring Kim's ouster to be "inconsistent with the principles of democratic government," officials of the Park regime have given no sign of easing their crackdown on political dissent.
Some South Korean officials even publicly called the U.S. action "a symbolic protest" and said it was "not unexpected." But, despite concern within the Carter administration about renewed internal strife in South Korea, no change was made in Brown's scheduled visit for annual talks on joint defense measures.
In confirming the Gleysteen will travel with Brown to resume his post in Seoul, U.s. officials said the political situation there "obiously was the focus" of his discussions in Washington. But they said they could not specify what further actions, if any, the United States might take to express concern at the authoritarian methods of the Park regime.