More than a hundred dissidents have been seized and many more have fled to avoid arrest since the South Korean military crackdown began two days ago, according to reliable sources.
The number of arrests reportedly is about four times greater than the military has acknowledged and is steadily increasing as nighttime raids continue.
Many of those seized are professors and religious leaders who are veteran dissenters against rightist regimes and others are student leaders suspected of having been involved in last week's massive demonstrations.
Continuing a campaign to silence political leaders, martial law troops Tuesday morning pushed foreign reporters away from the home of Kim Young Sam, president of the opposition New Democratic Party. They barricaded the street in front of Kim's home and then ordered dozens of his supporters to leave.
Kim, the only major politician not yet arrested, had scheduled a news conference and tried to hold it at his home despite a written warning Monday night from the martial law command.
[Kim smuggled out a statement denouncing martial law as a "betrayal of the restoration of democracy." He said Koreans "should not become historical criminals for future generations" by failing to object to the military crackdown.]
Meanwhile, troops operating under martial law authority continued today to suppress the latest attempts to hold demonstrations against the government.
In the provincial capital of Kwangju, 170 miles south of Seoul, thousands of students and citizens filled the streets most of the day and were finally dispersed by paratroopers and other forces.
It was the only big protest against the military leaders who have taken almost total control of the government under martial law proclamations that prohibit all dissent.
[In Washington, the State Department said it was "deeply disturbed" by the developments and that "the actions which the government has now taken will exacerbate problems in the Republic of Korea."]
About 200 students staged a brief protest march in central Seoul demanding an end to martial law this evening, but were quickly dispersed by tear gas and troops and riot police.
Several members of parliament attempted to enter that building today but were blocked by troops. The martial law command has banned meetings of parliament, which was scheduled to convene Tuesday.
Troops and armored vehicles were stationed at newspaper offices, public buildings, and other key centers of activity.
Since the sweeping martial law was announced late Sunday night, authorities have acknowledged arresting only 26 persons, including Kim Dae Jung, the veteran opposition leader, and Kim Jong Pil, president of the majority party in parliament.
But sources in the dissident community said today they had verified the arrests of 105 persons, not including a half-dozen political figures and former government officials detained for investigation of alleged corruption.
Many more reportedly have fled into hiding in Seoul and other cities because they feared they would be arrested.
The dissidents said those arrested include five Protestant ministers, six Roman Catholic priests, five university professors, five opposition members of parliament, five religious lay leaders, and more than 40 students. Others arrested include persons who have records of criticizing both the present government and the rule of the late president, Park Chung Hee.
None of their families has been informed where they are being held or told of the charges against them, the sources said.
One woman said her husband, a Protestant minister, was arrested at home at 2 a.m. this morning by martial law authorities, who searched the house for three hours and seized many documents.
News services reported the following:
The clashes in Kwangju started between hundreds of students and soldiers in the morning hours, grew in the afternoon and continued into the night.
The afternoon battle initially involved 3,000 protesters, many of them college students. When 500 paratroopers were withdrawn for a meal, many residents sympathetic to the students began joining their ranks and the protesters swelled to 50,000.
The angry demonstrators burned five cars, destroyed part of a broadcasting station and rampaged through downtown streets.
Paratroopers charged into the demonstrators and clubbed those they could get. The soldiers swung the butts of their rifles while the demonstrators countered with rocks and sticks.
There were numerous injuries, a witness said, with injured lying on the streets although there was no exact number of injuries reported.
As dusk fell, the demonstrators were pushed out to suburban areas but battles continued as many angry residents of the town clashed with troops who chased them.
The Korean Supreme Court upheld death sentences given former intelligence agency chief Kim Jae Kyu and four other men convicted of assassinating president Park last October.
Their executions by hanging are subject to confirmation by President Choi Kyu Hah. He could reduce the sentences, but is not expected to.
The nation's highest court also upheld a life sentence in the case for former presidential chief secretary Kim Kae Won.