‘Pro-North’ Lawmaker Attacks Korean National Anthem

Lee used the occasion of a press luncheon to point out the National Anthem of Korea is not the real anthem.

No stranger to controversy, Unified Progressive Party (UPP) lawmaker Lee Seok-gi, who has been threatened with expulsion from the party and who has long been accused of being a North Korea sympathizer (‘jongpuk‘), added fuel to the political debate engulfing parliament after denouncing the Aegukga (South Korea’s official  national anthem) as not being the real anthem of Korea. Lee’s comments came after the UPP suggested singing the national anthem at official events in a bid to restore the party’s already tarnished image. Lee stated that Arirang was the rightful anthem (often considered to be the ‘unofficial’ anthem for the two Koreas – the DPRK’s Ri Kyong Suk’s enthralling performance can be found here).

From Hankook Ilbo:

Lee Seok-gi ‘The Aegukga is not the Korean National Anthem’

Unified Progressive Party lawmaker Lee Seok-gi said on the 15th that he did not recognize the Aegukga as the national anthem of our country by saying ‘in countries like America, they have a national anthem, but in our country we have none’ adding that ‘the Aegukga is just one song among others that expresses love for the country.’ Lawmaker Lee, who was implicated in the unlawful election as a proportional representative and who was requested to vacate his parliamentary seat told reporters at a luncheon meeting that ‘the Aegukga was never decided as the nation anthem (of our nation).’

Lee asserted that ‘insofar as our ‘ethnic’ history is concerned, it would seem that the compendious Arirang is the real national anthem of our nation. (The Aegukga) was made by the authoritarian regime (to be the national anthem).’ He said that ‘it’s not that we should not sing the Aegukga, we can most definitely sing it, but imposing us to sing it would be totalitarianism.’

Lee’s comments that after 1948 when the government was established, it was became customary to use of the Aegukga at both domestic and foreign events as the national anthem are causing controversy. The government used the Aegukga as the national anthem according to custom but it wasn’t until 2010 that the Aegukga became enacted as the national anthem at national ceremonies.

Lee magnified the repercussions by repeating the expression ‘jongmi’ [‘US apologists’ or ‘slaves of the US’]. He said that ‘the reason I hate the expression ‘jongpuk‘ [‘North Korean apologist’ or ‘Slave of the Kims’] is that humans are free beings, but if you call me a ‘slave’, then you find that the real slaves are those ‘US apogists’.’ With regard to the UPP leadership emergency measures, he added that ‘it makes me think of the Special Committee for National Security Measures (of the Chun Doo-hwan regime).’

And about the National Democratic Revolutionary Party (NDRP) from which arose the suspicion of pro-North sympathizers, ‘(If you look at) the investigation records, not one word was spoken, and not one fingerprint was taken’ while asserting that this was in line with political repression. ‘Whether true or not, wasn’t the NDRP Incident itself like a huge monster? The Supreme Court raised suspicions about the handling of the incident.’

Lee also said that ‘while in bed I dreamed of the collapse of society, so it’s not a problem. If someone’s actions are bad, then one must criticize,’ and so went on to criticize the controversy about the suspicions he is a jongpuk by adding that ‘in modern days, even if your opinion is different, a debate is possible, but right now, we live in an irrational pre-modern era.’

Comments from Nate:


Moon Jae-in: There are no jongpuks in our country. And if ever there were, it wouldn’t be a problem since they’d be a minority.


What a fucking idiot! Aren’t you a lawmaker? Don’t kid me, you dirty mouthed thief.


Hoel…..Arirang is a folk song, and Aegukga is a real national anthem fuck! Arirang is a love song — and yeah while in North Korea they may really like Arirang, for that man to say a love song should be our national anthem… he must really be deranged


ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke I’ve got nothing to say… those commies.. I’m not angry, just that I’ll have no choice but to vote Saenuri until the day they die away. The problem is up until last year’s by-elections I was a supporter of the opposition..


Crazy bastard……..


It really pisses me off to think that these kind of commies became elected as lawmakers through the taxes we pay. Is there no way to ‘repatriate’ him to the North? Together with that crazy bitchᆢ[probably Kim Jae-yeon, the other alleged pro-North UPP member]


ke ke self-destruction


Shouldn’t we just kill off all those jongpuk bastards? What kind of ROK politicians are those crazy bastards? Fuck


Defo crazy, crazy…really crazy


No wonder… Lee Seok-gi is from Mokpo in Jeolla Province


You guy in your twenties must vote! For the sake of preventing these filthy commies from engulfing our country, you must vote!!

Comments from Daum:


Lee Seok-gi, when did you realize the Aegukga was not the national anthem? Throughout your schooling, did you not sing it? I’ve been singing the Aegukga since the days in the 1950s when I was in elementary school, it was not the product of the military junta. Please name me a country that has no national anthem. You say the Aegukga was never recognized as the national anthem of the Republic of Korea. Doesn’t your big-headed hero-like mentality have a massive dent in it?


If you think the Aegukga is not the Korean national anthem, then you are neither Korean nor human, but rather a bastard who should be beaten the shit out of. Those cunts who support these bastards too should all be sent to the North – those scums should be stripped to the skin and thrown out like trash.


My fellow citizens, Lee Seok-gi is not a citizen of the Republic of Korea. If you see this kind of madness in our country, then those people obviously reek of North Korea.


He can’t even produce words worth saying. In any case, you say Arirang is the national anthem? he he he greeeaat ~ pathetic bastard!


Lee Seok-gi, the Saek-gi [play on words with name] is definitely a commie


Especially when I go abroad for business trips, listening to the Aegukga tugs at my heartstrings.


He’s right


Northern ideology…………crazy bastard


If Lee Seok-gi denies the Aegukga as the national anthem, I too don’t recognize him as a citizen of this country. And I especially won’t recognize someone without a nationality as a member of the National Assembly!!!!!


At this rate, [people will] vote Saenuri. It’s clear Park Geun-hye will be elected


Though he learns of our national history at school, he still has totalitarian way of thinking??


When I was in the army, I was a Lee Myung-bak supporter, but when I got discharged, I regretted it, but now I actually think I was right. When I see these crazy jongpuk sons of bitches mobsters, I think it’d be best to support the conservatives again

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  • glenn

    I think he is just using this opportunity to get more attention from the media. Media whore.

    • Chucky3176

      Actually no. He’s a well known figure to the Korean national intelligence service dating back to the 1990’s when he was very active violently protesting against the South Korean government. In 1996, a North Korean spy sub ran aground in South Korea. What followed was a massive man hunt for 20 odd members of the sub crew who fled on foot, trying to get back to North Korea. Thousands of troops were mobilized to hunt for these men, and the shoot outs followed, as number of South Korean and a few North Korean commandos were killed. The rest of the North Koreans committed suicide and their bodies were found in the woods.

      Now here is the interesting part, inside the North Korean sub that ran aground, the officials found classified papers that listed all the contact names that North Korean spies were to contact in South Korea. And one of the names on the list was our man today, Lee Seok Ki. Under the South Korea’s National Security Law, you are not supposed to contact and cooperate with North Korean government. What was Lee up to, communicating with North Korean agents? Nobody knows for certain. But the speculation is that he was one of the key figures that North Korea supported, and Lee’s mission was to cause a massive civil revolution in South Korea, to make the South Korean government fall, and make the South Korean society weak. Lee was charged with breaking the National Security Law, and he spent his time in prison until 2003 when he was freed. Since then, he’s been back to work, agitating and promoting protests against American interests in South Korea.

      Little was heard from him, until just recently when he suddenly emerged on the political scene and he was some how able to win the proportional representative seat for his party (United Progressive Party) by rigging the votes which were held through the internet voting process. And he’s also tied to another corruption case involving illegal campaign funds. This guy is so dirty, in more than one way, everyone is wondering how the hell did he get this far. The funny thing is, he’s not the only one in Korean politics with dubious backgrounds linking them to North Korea.

      • glenn

        Nice one chucky3176. So now I think he is openly doing this one to arouse public sentiments and gather more sympathizers in the end, getting noticed. ^_^

        Somebody should kidnap him and ship him to his beloved kim jong un.

      • lamster

        Would you shut up? Nobodies dumb enough to play North vs South anymore. Every story is fabricated by South Korea. It’s time for Koreans to listen from the other side.

        • glenn

          If everybody were to shut-up then why bother putting up a comment area?

      • Raphael

        Thanks for the succinct summary Chucky, couldn’t have said it better!

      • Brett Sanbon

        Great investigative reporting chucky!

      • James

        Nice write-up Chucky.

        I would point out though that the North Korean government has been known to target individuals it believes can be useful to them. Very often, they can be acting on their own initiative – Lee’s name appearing on one of their lists doesn’t necessarily mean that he was trying to contact them. Rather, it could just be another case of Pyongyang trying to spot people they feel they could cooperate with.

  • guk

    Dear Raphael.
    민혁당(=민족민주혁명당) is not ‘People’s Revolutionary Party’ and linked wrong. It’s 인혁당(=인민혁명당). ‘인’혁당 Incident was confirmed fabricated. But ‘민’혁당 existed in reality, moreover, Lee and the others involved in it were found guilty in the Supreme Court in 2000.
    I’m weak in English, so cannot explain it detailedly. You can find accurate information somewhere.

    • Raphael

      Many thanks Guk, you were right it was the National Democratic Revolutionary Party/The Revolutionary Party for People and Democracy ^^

  • bultak

    support the despotic north? crazy and evil at the same time…

  • Josh

    Can I just say that the netizens have really outdone themselves this time with their comments. Seriously, I often question the average Korean’s ability to have a civilized logical discussion. I don’t agree with everything this law-maker said, but he’s right about some things. Nuance is the key, not “commie thug bastard should die and spend eternity in hell because of our fucking national anthem!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH” Honestly, people like that shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    • Justin_C

      the sad reality of democracy where everyone is entitled to one’s own opinion…. or freedom to give benefit of one’s own opinion however rubbish :p

  • delta

    North Korea Supporters are scums

  • Cleo

    When Corea reunifies and is safe from Japan, I think you will get Arirang.

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  • Jang

    Treasonist *astard, he’s now facing conspiracy charges to commit armed rebellion.

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