At that time, Yonsei University was on the main road from the airport, and Yonsei was the most active in terms of protests.
When I went to the campus the day after I arrived, I was at the main entrance and ran into who else but James Nachtwey, who I had also met at Magnum.
Nachtwey recognized me instantly and asked, “Hey Ki-Ho, what are you doing here?” and I replied, “I just arrived, and want to take pictures.”
At that time, I had no mask, no protective gears, and he told me very sincerely, “You should not be in the front, you should be in the back just to be safe.”
Being competitive and fearless, I thought that he was trying to kick me out so I told him firmly, “No, I’m staying.”
You can see in my pictures how close I was when the protestors were throwing rocks. When the tear gas landed on me, I couldn’t breathe, and I almost collapsed.
The next day, I went to Namdaemun Market and got myself a mask and some protective gears.
Every other day, I would be back at the protests at the universities, at City Hall, etc. The students were protesting the corruption of then-President Chun Doo-Hwan.
By then I had protective gears on me but most of the students only had toothpaste under their noses or saran wrap. They were really brave.