Seoul Rally Hits Plane Hijacking

December 15, 1969: Thousands of Seoulites jammed Changchung Park here in bone-chilling cold Saturday chanting anti-Communist slogans and carrying anti-Communist placards in a protest rally over the hijacking to North Korea Thursday of a KAL airliner with 51 persons aboard.

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Deputy Seoul Mayor Kim Chong-o told the huge crowd: “We must unite in our efforts to get the kidnapped citizens freed.” Similar rallies were held throughout the republic, police reported.

The Seoul rally drafted messages to be sent to President Park Chung-hee, U.N. Secretary General U Thant, the chairman of the International Red Cross and the citizens of North Korea, urging the prompt return of the plane and its passengers and crewmen.

Following the rally, the participants paraded through Seoul streets to city hall where they burned an effigy of North Korean Prime Minister Kim Il-sung, calling him a murderer and an obstacle to national unification.

Meanwhile, the ROK government, at a cabinet meeting Saturday began taking strong security measure to protect civilian airlines by giving judicial power to airport staff members and issuing weapons to all pilots, local press reports said.

Other security measures decided on include placing armed security guards on all domestic flights and more thorough checks of passengers and baggage. A decision was also made that all KAL planes flying between Kangnung to Seoul will go to Kangnung via Samchok.

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