Tear gas and political protests in South Korea have organizers of the 1988 Summer Olympics concerned.
The Korea Times newspaper quoted an official of the Seoul organizing committee as saying: "My head reels when I imagine what the foreign players will say of their experiences in Korea."
Korea is to be the site of the Games, but Friday was the site of yet another antigovernment protest. After police used tear gas in the southern port city of Pusas, the gas wafted across a soccer field, where a Korean team was playing a U.S. team. The game was interrupted 30 minutes.
Even worse, TV cameras were covering a game between Korean and Egyptian soccer teams Wednesday in Masan, when police fired tear gas into a nearby demonstration. TV viewers were able to see players coughing, wiping their eyes and noses and covering their mouths. That game was called and ruled a scoreless tie.
Roh Tae-woo, chairman of the ruling Democratic Justice Party, mentioned the Masan incidents at his first news conference since being selected to succeed President Chun Doo-hwan. He said such demonstrations are isolated misfortunes and that "the Olympics will be one big festival for all mankind."
Korean newspapers didn't sound so sure.