SEOUL — * Riot police battled thousands of students May 18 as they tried to march on the homes of two former presidents to demand a probe into a 1980 military crackdown that claimed about 200 lives.
The protest marked the anniversary of the crackdown in the southern city of Kwangju, and the students were demanding that former Presidents Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo be punished.
The students say the former presidents ordered soldiers to shoot civilians. Both Mr. Chun and Mr. Roh, who were among generals who seized power in a December 1979 coup, have denied direct involvement in the crackdown.
The coup triggered nationwide protests that lasted for months, leading to a 10-day uprising in Kwangju, a provincial capital.
The May 18 fighting raged for more than an hour and was the most violent student-police confrontation in Seoul since President Kim Young Sam took office in February. At least two dozen students were injured.
President Kim has appealed to South Koreans to forgive the two former presidents.