With rioting South Korean demonstrators controlling both the cities of kwangju, capital of the depressed province of Cholla, and the nearby port city of Moko, the Pentagon has said the United States will release an unspecified number of Korean troops to help control the disorders. The troops are part of the US-Korea Joint Command.
South Korea's newly appointed Prime Minister Park Choong-hoon has appealed to heavily armed militants to return to their homes and jobs in Kwangju, scene of turbulent rioting against martial law. The riots have taken some 57 civilian lives.
Troops have so far been unable to recapture the city of 800,000 which has been held by an enraged citizenry. Many residents have seized Army weapons or commandeered Army vehicles.
Violence has also broken out in more than a dozen other towns in Cholla Province, birthplace of leading dissident Kim Dae Jung.