Artist Arrested for Satirical Flyers of President Park

Article from Daum:

Artist Arrested for Distributing “Satirical President Park” Pop Art Leaflets

Near Gwanghwamun Square, pop artist Lee Ha (real name Lee Byung-ha, 46) was arrested for distributing leaflets satirizing President Park Geun-hye.

According to the Jongro Police Station in Seoul, on October 20 around noon, Mr. Lee stood on the rooftop of the Donghwa duty free store building and scattered 4500 leaflets satirizing President Park.

On the leaflets was a caricature of President Park, dressed like the female lead from the movie “Welcome to Dongmakgol,” with a floral shirt, and a flower in her hair. At the top of the picture are the words “WANTED,” and below, “MAD GOVERNMENT.”

president park satirical poster

A representative from the police department explained the reason for the artist’s arrest, saying “Mr. Lee was not booked for distributing flyers, but rather for entering a building illegally.”

Last year, leading up to the presidential elections, Artist Lee satirized then candidate Park as Snow White, and was indicted for creating and putting up these posters. In a jury trial, he was acquitted of charges.

Comments from Daum:


This is the best piece this year that I sympathize with.


He drew a chicken in the form of a person! He made a mistake alright.


A representative from the police department explained the reason for the artist’s arrest, saying Mr. Lee was not booked for distributing flyers, but rather for entering a building illegally.”

What do you expect from the government that is more pathetic than an elementary schooler?


Government: There are no grounds or regulations for forcefully restricting the dissemination of flyers to North Korea…

But then what about this case?

I guess they were still embarrassed, seeing as they used the excuse that the artist illegally entered the building…


When those in power can freely be criticized, we call the country a democracy.

How can you speak of trust and hope to the younger generation while we are neglecting the chicken government trampling the people’s spirits?

Currently, the target of insults is not the president, but Korea’s democracy and people.


How are we supposed to end the root of evil when the Blue House who should be leading the corruption eradication efforts is acting like that?

For their continuing corruption, I’d like to call the Blue House a “Hall of Corruption.”


Putting a flower in your hair is the mark of a crazy woman….the artist is smart!


Nowadays, it seems you need permission to enter duty free shops?


Was it your building? If the building owner lets it go, then the artist is innocent.


This is nothing more than a dictatorship period.

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  • Chucky3176

    So what was wrong with this artwork? Nothing. Ms President just can’t take any kind of criticism, and is now starting to act like a queen dictator. She’s turned into a biggest political dud of the century. She really has to go. The only thing sensible that happened was this:

    “In a jury trial, he was acquitted of charges.”

    Good thing democracy stepped in that time.

    • crxrunn

      you troll post so much, I’m pretty sure every President in their system would do the same thing.

      This kind of news is sensationalist garbage, of course police would arrest someone throwing 4500 pieces of paper off a department store rooftop. I’m sure this is neither the first nor last case of a citizen criticizing their President, nothing new to see here.

    • RegisterToPost

      Only 4 more years to go!

    • lonetrey / Dan

      … it’s not like she personally ordered the police to arrest him. She probably didn’t even heard of this until it was on the TV news

      • jonny

        i doubt that.

  • Small twon

    This administration is out of control. What is this ? 1980 show ? I know he will be acquitted of charges AGAIN. This is police harrassment and terror tactic by “Princess and her dwarfs “

    • Raymond

      No this is littering. He tossed 4500 pieces of trash off the roof.

    • lonetrey / Dan

      You make it sound like she PERSONALLY ordered this. This probably had nothing to do with her other than her being the subject matter of the artwork…. I don’t see any way of her giving a dam about a single artist doing this while she’s running a government.

  • 금정산

    The 안기부 still exists but in a lesser form.

    • commander

      The leaflet-disseminating person was arrested by police not by the spy agency called 국정원 (National Intelligence Agency)

      Does the spy agency has any relevance to this case?

      • 금정산

        This case isn’t about the dissemination of leaflets. Walk through the Seomyeon nightlife areas in the morning and you will see the ground littered with literally thousands of advertising leaflets. These leaflets are spread by dozens of middle-aged ladies and nobody ever says anything to them. Walk through any major city in Korea and you see business cards advertising call-girl services all over the ground. Why don’t these people ever get arrested?

        I’m being partly facetious when I mention the President Chun Doo-Hwan’s spy agency – which served two purposes: to gather intelligence on North Korea and to censor South Korean political activists. But I am also partly serious because of the previous indictment against Lee Ha. He was charged for erecting posters of Park around Pusan for “compromising the fairness of the election” in violation of the Public Official Election Act. BUT! What about the National Intelligence Service agents influencing public opinions through internet comments in the lead up to the same election?

        I bet the spy agency kept a watch on this guy and were waiting for an opportunity to arrest him. Some see this case as about leaflet-dissemination, some see it as political suppression. I mention the 안기부 because I don’t think South Korea has reached a high enough level of political freedom.

        Here is an interesting article for anyone interested.

  • commander

    I was wondering what would happen if a similar act were done of distributing leaflets satiring President Obama in a caricature saying he is not an American citizen?

    Would the distributor be subject to police arrest like in South Korea?

    I expect some with confident knowledge of American political culture to make an answer to this question.

    • lonetrey / Dan

      If done in the same manner (tossing flyers off the building’s rooftop), same thing most likely would happen.

      But it’s not like Obama would be the one ordering the arrest. The police are just doing their job.

    • Yaminah Jamison

      I dunno… there’s many racist things out there about Obama and I’m sure no one got arrested. TV shows practically insulted Bush during his term so…. eh. Obama would have to call out slander and press charges and he wouldn’t have time for petty stuff like that.

    • David

      It happens constantly, nobody is arrested for this. Likely the flyers would be picked up by people, he might get ticket for littering but it would be a matter for the local police, nothing national would be done. The president probably would never even hear of it, unless it was reported on the news (which it probably would not be). It is true that protestors called President Bush a Nazi and worse (mass murderer) while he was in office and no body was ever arrested for that.

      • commander

        If that is the case, I can’t but admit that speech freedom is more widely guaranteed in the United States than in South Korea here.

    • x1sfg

      Maybe. What is more likely to happen is you get audited by the IRS, and your phones and computers get wiretapped like the AP, conservative political groups, and so on. Land of the free

      • commander

        Well, as you well know, we now learned thanks to former NSA intelligence worker Snowden’s revelations that even if you don’t do semblance of something illegal, you can be absolutely under scrutiny by clandestine intelligence gathering operations that may be going on even now.

        German Chancellor Merkel was extremely displeased to find out her phone had been wiretapped by American spy agencies.

        This means a leaflet distributor may expect more than that if his act gets on the nerves of the powerful.

  • goldengluvsk2

    Its unlikely President Park gave the order to arrest Mr. Lee herself but judging by the comments, people do feel they cant take criticism… this artist should come here… there was an ex-President here that had and still has all type of cartoons, -often disrespectful and tacky imo doing serious accusations with no proof- about him, tv stations attacked him in favor of other candidates and he was like whatever but wannabe journalist still claimed he was a dictator lol they dont even know what a dictator is.. Now the actual President ban journalists from a tv station that ask him legit questions about his government and no one complains…

  • ChuckRamone

    This dictatorial bullshit in South Korea needs to end now. Oust Park Gu Nyun.

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s not about Park personally ordering the artist to be arrested. It’s about the political atmosphere generated by the Park administration that this kind of, let’s say 70’s-like thuggish censorship, is not only acceptable but commendable. This guy isn’t the first artist to be attacked by the Park administration for making fun of Park Geun Hye.

  • KCdude

    The people must oust Park Guen-Hye. And this is a sign that having an American style presidential system (of electing a person who is both a head of government and head of state) is not really working well for South Korea.

    Nigeria and Sri Lanka are two most likely countries to get rid of their American style presidential system in the long run.

    Anyways South Korea must change or face collapse. Two obvious choices.

    • pooperscooper

      The problem isn’t having an American style presidential system.

      The problem is people electing terrible candidates for terrible reasons, even in the U.S.

      Ex: “I voted for him/her because my entire family is democratic/republican”, “I voted for him/her because his/her father/husband/baby daddy was president”, “I voted for him because he’s cute”, “I voted for him/her because he’s a man/woman like me”, “I voted for him/her because he/she’s white/black/hispanic/gay/asian/”, “I voted for him because he/she served in the military”, “I voted for him/her because he/she reminds me of the ‘good ol’ days’ (wtf does that even mean)”, and the list goes on.

      • KCdude

        And you eloquently described the core reasons why the American style presidential system is the worst. Any country that mimics the US political system has a serious issue of overflow of “unproductive” elections. This includes South Korea.

        There’s a good reason why people around the world demand the parliamentary system.

        • pooperscooper

          This stuff can still happen even with a parliamentary system.

  • seno

    kim jong un where r u???? we need u!!!!!!!

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