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February 25, 1988

Letter from the Central Committee of the National Democratic Front of South Korea (NDFSK) to the International Olympic Committee opposing the 1988 Seoul Olympics

Juan Antonio Samaranch, President
International Olympic Committee
Lausanne, Switzerland

Any international games out to be welcomed as festivals in all countries. We south Korean people, however, are rejecting the 1988 Seoul Olympiad as a tragedy, because it involves serious political questions. Originally, south Korea is unsuitable to the Olympic Games.

As it is known, south Korea is in fact a U.S. colony destitute of independence and sovereignty, in spite of its advocacy of state name and sovereignty. Even though the Constitution stipulates liberty and democracy, the human rights are mercilessly violated by the dictatorship and murderous atrocities are rampant in south Korea.

Owing to the nefarious colonial, fascist rule of the United States, our people, deprived of the national dignity and personal value, have been undergoing unheard-of sufferings for more than 40 years. In addition, they are suffering from the greatest tragedy due to the territorial division and national split.

We south Korean people, cherishing deep in our hearts the earnest desire to live in an independent, reunified and democratic society, have bravely waged the sacred anti-U.S., anti-dictatorship struggle for national salvation, unable to swallow the humiliation of subordinated people and sorrow of the divided nation in the sorrow-ridden land bereft of sovereignty and democracy.

Nevertheless, the U.S. imperialists and the Roh Tae-woo fascist group have turned the whole territory of south Korea into a great military prison and are cruelly suppressing our people’s desire for independence, democracy and reunification.

All those people who fight to end the military rule and the foreign domination are arrested and punished on the groundless charge of “leftists and pro-Communists.” Even at this juncture, a great number of students and other patriotic people are imprisoned and tortured to death for the reason of calling for independence and democracy.

Fascist suppression by the military dictators becomes harsher with the Seoul Olympic Games approaching.

Under the pretext of so-called “establishment of social discipline”, special repressive corps were formed with military and police troops and intelligence agents for three-dimensional suppression. Besides, special gas rifles, high-efficiency sniping weapons and special equipments making people faint with flash and terrific noise are introduced.

The Seoul Olympiad is also a great threat to our people’s livelihood.

Under the cloak of “city-beautifying campaign”, the board-framed houses and cellar-hovels of the poor people were all pulled down. Everywhere in south Korea, we can easily find houseless, poor people driven out of their huts and ill-fated wandering children. They curse the Olympics.

In the meantime, a huge amount of taxes are invested in construction of the Olympic villages and enormous goods earned by sweat of our people’s brows are continuously bribed to Olympic officials.

What’s worse, the war preparation is undisguisedly speeded up more than ever.

Mass destruction weapons are ceaselessly reinforced in south Korea, the greatest nuclear forward base of the United States in the Far East. The “Team Spirit-88” and other nuclear war exercises are no under way throughout south Korea.

Indeed, south Korea is a terrible human butchery where innocent people are shedding blood under the U.S. colonial rule and the dictatorship. It is also the most dangerous hot-bed of nuclear war menacing the life of the Korean people and mankind as well.

No one should ignite the Olympic Flame in south Korea under the colonial and fascist rule or fly doves of peace in this country covered with dark cloud of nuclear war. It is the unanimous demand of our people.

Nevertheless, the International Olympic Committee allowed Seoul to host the 1988 Olympic Games of all countries, thereby leaving grudge deep in the hearts of our people.

If you hold the Olympic Games seeking impure purpose at the unsuitable place, it is tantamount to crown with the laurel the U.S. imperialists and their stooges, the sworn enemies of the Korean nation.

In fact, your wrong behaviors help the U.S. imperialists and the Roh Tae-woo junta abuse the 1988 Summer Olympic Games for their sinister purpose.

Encourage by the active support of the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. imperialists and the Roh Tae-woo group are abusing the sacred sports festival as a means to beautify the colonial fascist rule, create international atmosphere for their “two-Korea” plot and justify their war preparations.

If their sinister purpose is realized our people cannot avoid indescribable misfortunes and the unprecedented nuclear holocaust. Terrible, indeed!

Under this circumstances, how can we remain indifferent to the International Olympic Committee helping the American aggressors and the traitorous Roh Tae-woo junta?

We, representing the south Korean people’s unanimous resentment, strongly protest against your unfair act adding our pains.

Instigated by the U.S. imperialists and in conspiracy with the Roh Tae-woo fascist junta, you are trying to hold the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul in spite of our people’s opposition. But everything will never go well as you wish.

We south Korean people can never barter away independence, democracy and reunification for the Olympiad. It is our inflexible will and determination. You should neither neglect nor underestimate our people’s will.

South Korea is not plunged deep into a vortex of the ever-aggravated political confusion due to the uncompromising confrontation between the democratic and patriotic forces on one side and the colonial fascist forces on the other.

If the Olympic flag is hoisted in Seoul at least, it will lose its luster swept by the tear gas, thus leaving the most miserable stain in the 100-odd-year long history of the modern Olympiad.

Must regret after mishap is quite vain, we think.

We would like to sincerely advise you to, though belated, fully realize your responsibility and adopt choice favorable for our people and the Olympic movement.

Central Committee
National Democratic Front of South Korea

Letter from the North Korea-supported National Democratic Front of South Korea arguing that South Korea is not an appropriate venue for the Olympics, and claiming the country is a "U.S. colony destitute of independence and sovereignty...[where] human rights are mercilessly violated by the dictatorship."

Document Information


International Olympic Committee Archives (Switzerland), SEOUL’ 88, POLITICAL MATTERS 1988-89; SEOUL ’88/ POLITIQUE (JANVIER – JUILLET). Obtained for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko.


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