Seoul, South Korea
May 1, 1987
The Korean middle-class began joining the students in their assault on the government and riot police.
After two decades of building an economic miracle, in the summer of 1987 tens of thousands of frustrated South Korean students took to the streets demanding democratic reform. "People Power" Korean-style saw Koreans from all social spectrums join in the protests.
With the Olympics to be held in South Korea in 1988, President Chun Doo Hwan decided on no political reforms and to choose the ruling party chairman, Roh Tae Woo, as his heir. The protests multiplied and after 3 weeks Chun conceded releasing oppositionist Kim Dae Jung from his 55th house arrest and shaking hands with opposition leader Kim Young Sam. Days later he endorsed presidential elections and an amnesty for nearly 3,000 political prisoners. It marked the first genuine initiative of democratic reform in South Korea and the people had their victory.