National Geographic : 1988 Aug
"The day when freedoms and human rights could be slighted in the name of economic growth and national security has ended. The day when repressive force and torture in secret chambers were tolerated is over." That is new language from the Blue House. South Koreans hope he means it, and can deliver. IN PROPER KOREAN FASHION, I held my glass with two hands as Min filled it with beer. Then to reciprocate his ges ture of friendship, I picked up the bot tle-both hands again-and poured beer into his glass. Min works for a small export company, finding Korean manufacturers for American firms that sell batteries, toys, garden tools, barbecue grills. On this Sunday afternoon we were sitting around a low table in his living room in Seoul with a group of his friends, watching a boxing match on television. Like Min, they were all middle-aged, middle-class, and male, but unlike most Korean friendships, which center around the same school class or hometown, these men were drawn together by a tennis court in the huge apartment complex where they live. "Frankly, we don't go out with our families often," said Min, a short, rectangular man. "I love tennis too much."