Police fired water cannons at thousands of protesters Tuesday as President Bush got a volatile reception in South Korea at the start of his three-nation Asian trip.
Dueling demonstrations reflected mixed sentiments in this U.S. ally, where public opinion surveys remain generally positive about America, though many people decry Washington for a variety of issues. Bush will meet Wednesday with President Lee Myung-bak for the third time since the conservative, pro-American leader took office in February.
Some 18,300 police were on high alert with riot gear and bomb-sniffing dogs to maintain order during Bush's brief visit, the National Police Agency said.
About 30,000 people gathered in front of Seoul City Hall for an afternoon Christian prayer service supporting Bush's trip. Large South Korean and U.S. flags were held aloft by balloons overhead along with a banner reading, "Welcom
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