The vegetable carts reappeared on the streets here today, signaling a return to normal after 10 days of protest, antigovernment riots, and a shootout that brought the city back under military control.
People were without fresh food for much of that period and the market was doing a brisk business. Government supplies of food and medicine were also on the way.
The city is dominated by troops and tanks, the heaviest concentration being in a downtown plaza where for several days ten of thousands had gathered to protest martial law and other actions of the new military leadership in Seoul.
In Seoul, the government announced assistance measures for Kwangju designed to "heal the tragic scars" of the conflict.
The plaza here was the scene of the shootings early yesterday when government troops drove into the city and routed young militant holdouts to take control of this city of 800,000.
There were no visible signs of more protest. The sound of gunfire was heard briefly this morning, citizens said, but its origin was unknown.
As they resumed a semblance of normal activity, the people of Kwangju were wary of talking about the military assault which dislodged holdouts from the provincial office and ended the rebellion.
An American who lives here said his Korean friends felt the pre-dawn attack was "pretty much inevitable. People felt it had to come.
"Compared with what had happened last week, it wasn't so bad," he said, referring to the Army's earlier violent attempts to suppress student demonstrations and massive street protests. "I think they felt they would do what they had to do and no more." Like others interviewed, the American declined to give his name.
"We expect things to return to normal from now on," he added.
Aside from the overwhelming presence of troops, tanks and other military vehicles, the most vivid reminder of Kwangju's troubles was group of citizens clustered outside a large public gymnasium on one side of the plaza.
They were waiting to view the bodies of a large number of persons killed in last week's battles. The bodies of those unidentified still are on display inside the building and more than two dozen persons had gathered to determine whether missing relatives were among the dead. The official count of civilian deaths in the latest battle is 17, bringing the 10-day total at least to 146 killed.
Those interviewed uniformly refused to discuss the question of whether the city had been deceived by a pledge by Kwangju's martial law commander not to send troops back into the city. "We expected the Army to come back," one civic leader said. "The demonstrations had gone on so long."
While the Army was at bay outside the city limits, a committee of prominent citizens had attempted to negotiate a number of assurances with the martial law commander.
A leaflet distributed by the committee last weekend said the commander had given this assurance: "Unless the citizens shoot first, martial law troops will not fire or march in and there now are no martial law troops in the city."
There had been confusion all along about the military's assurances and citizens today indicated they felt the issue an academic one best forgotten.
A new "emergency" citizens' committee has formed. It was assured today that one of its initial requests of the military commander -- permission to hold regular Wednesday evening Protestant church services -- would be granted.
The committee is preparing to distribute emergency food and medical supplies sent by the government. Both were in short supply while the holdout continued. Government troops had sealed off almost all roads leading into the city.
Today, some of the troops were helping clean up large piles of rubbish collected on the streets. City employes are gradually returning to their jobs.
This was the first day of normal street activity since the shootout. Most people had stayed indoors yesterday as troops searched for persons suspected of having tried to defend the provincial headquarters and another fortified spot, Kwangju Park.
Rumors abound of several armed persons still at large.
The Associated Press added from Seoul:
Deputy Prime Minister Kim Woun Gie, heading a special committee to provide relief, said the government would offer $8,000 in grants and loans to any Kwangju resident whose home was 80 percent or more destroyed during the revolt. Lesser amounts were to be available for less damaged property. The government said it was releasing rice from its warehouses to help ease food shortages.
Partly in response to pleas from their mayors, citizens and private groups in Pusan, Taegu and other cities began campaigns to raise money for relief. The Samsung group, a major Korean business conglomerate, delivered a $330,000 check to the home minister to help rebuild Kwangju.
One of the bodies recovered in Kwangju was identified as that of Moon Jun Chol, a Protestant clergyman and member of the citizens' committee that tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a truce with martial law officials and head off the troop takeover.
At Mokpo, the port city about 42 miles south of Kwangju, some 3,000 students and sympathizers held a peaceful torchlight march last night, demanding an end to martial law and freedom for political dissident Kim Dae Jung, a Mokpo native and favorite son of the Southern Cholla region, whose arrest May 18 helped trigger the Kwangju strife.