May 9, 1990. Much as there was celebration and a massive military parade in Moscow, celebrating Russia’s defeat of Nazism on this day in 1945, there were riots in the streets of Seoul South Korea. One was a show of solidarity and boosting morale, while other was showing displeasure over Political moves, the other was giving a morale boost to a sagging population and an increasingly disgruntled military.
In the largest anti-Government demonstrations in nearly three years, thousands of students marched through the streets of Seoul and other major cities to protest the apparent consolidation of power by a new political party controlled by President Roh Tae Woo.
The demonstrations, which broke into violence as the newly created party held its inaugural convention, came as political and economic tensions in South Korea were running high as the result of wildcat strikes, economic reversals, and harsh Government measures.
After taking over downtown Seoul for several hours tonight, the students set fire to the United States Information Service building.
And over in Moscow; celebrations. In an effort to shore up low morale and a general dissatisfaction with things at home, the Soviet Union decided to stage an enormous Military parade, in observance of the 45th anniversary of VE Day. May 9th was the officially recognized day Germany signed the surrender papers, ending their role in World War 2. Normally, the celebrations took place every ten years, but this one seemed imperative, with most Russian veterans of World War 2 getting fewer as the years went by – by the time the 50th anniversary rolled around, the number would dwindle even further. So the reason for the big celebration was twofold.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this May 9th in 1990, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.