On Ban, “Democracy Is Destroyed” Says Pro-NK Party Leader

The Unified Progressive Party (UPP, or 통진당) was recently ordered to disband, and its party members expelled from congress. The party, formed in 2011, was accused by the Korean Government of being too inclined toward North Korean political values. Party leader Lee Jeong-hee gave an emotional speech for journalists after hearing the news. While Lee accuses the government of a witch hunt, President Park remains firm that the UPP was a real threat to South Korean democracy.

Article from JTBC:

Party leader Lee Jeong-hee, “Democracy has been completely destroyed.”

lee jeong-hee pro nk party leader

[Summary of] Party leader Lee Jeong-hee’s speech at a press conference

“Democracy has been completely destroyed.”

“The constitutional court, symbolic of Democracy, judged us based on fabricated stories of government overthrow.”

“They have outlawed politics for the people, for the workers.”

“I am sorry we could not fulfill our democratic duties.”

We cannot stop history from repeating… I have been defeated.”

They cannot destroy the dreams of progressive politics!

“This witch hunt of North Korea sympathizers is destroying the multi-party system.”

Comments from Naver:
pepe****

You better cough up your election campaign funds!

vkst****

Democracy is alive and well!!!

muih****

Do you mean North Korean Democracy? [*The comment is the beginning of the name “People’s Democratic Republic of Korea”]

sson****

Bullshit!! It’s exactly the opposite!!!

ygm3****

Justice is still alive and well.

drum****

Democracy? Freedom? You’re playing around, right? You take that word and twist it around, go into someone else’s home and mindlessly create chaos. Is that freedom and democracy? Stop spewing bullshit and go to North Korea.

muju****

2014, the year pro-North Korean politics died.

pk06****

We saw that democracy is entirely alive!

kpo9****

Goodbye, commie!!!

deze****

That dirty mouth can’t be arguing about democracy.

whtm****

Lee Jeong-hee: (If) democracy completely crumbled (that would be great)!

tjdw****

Are you really for democracy? You love North Korea.

Article from Yonhap News:

President Park, “Disbanding the Unified Progressive Party is a historic decision ensuring a free democracy.”

park geun hye free democracy

Yoon Du-hyun, senior public affairs secretary, tells of the reaction from President Park.

On the disbandment of the Unified Progressive Party ordered by the constitutional court on the 20th, President Park reacted by stating, through public affairs secretary Yoon Du-hyun, “This is a historic ruling, one that will strengthen a free democracy.”

Secretary Yoon met with journalists to give President Park’s statement. Regarding the disbandment of the Unified Progressive Party and the suspension of 5 of its congress members, the Blue House has not made a public statement, but President Park gave her own assessment in its place.

Before on the 15th, President Park also criticized Korean-American Shin Eun-mi’s “North Korea Concert” at a general affairs meeting, saying, “Through her own biased experiences, the reality of North Korea is being distorted and exaggerated. This is becoming a problem.”

The Blue House cabinet in general agreement stated, “The constitution’s first purpose is to ensure democracy. We see the decision to disband a political party based on its damage to these democratic principals as reasonable and appropriate. This action has caused our democracy to further develop.”

Comments from Naver:

meto****

Article 1 of the South Korean constitution states that the Republic of Korea is a democratic republic.

east****

“Progressive” and “reform” are both good things, but sympathizing with North Korea is not acceptable.

sago****

Cleaning away leeches like Jeong Yoon-hee is also democracy~

kozm****

Madame President, now please [prosecute] Lee Myeong-bak’s government [for corruption] in the 4-rivers project, international natural resources business, and the Defense Acquisition Program.

suga****

It’s a relief. The UPP can go north.

shle****

I saw this coming when Lee Jeong-hee made a fuss on that presidential election TV debate. [President Park] must have been seething.

pdrk****

The leaders were Lee Jeong-hee and Lee Seok-gi.

bhsv****

Alright let’s get Jeong Yoon-hee back.

wk41****

Now can you get rid of Jasmine Lee?

blur****

I never thought I’d see the day Park Geun-hye talked about free democracy.

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  • k.ftw

    Happy New Year KB, and thanks for providing such interesting content.
    Hope to read more in 2015.

  • wrle

    If pro south korean parties were formed in north korea, they would all be rounded up, stripped down and executed in front of a live audience. These north korea sympathizers should be grateful they are even alive and can walk free.

    • guest

      No need to state the obvious Captain!

    • theresalwaysworse

      yea great, lets all just look at the lowest common denominator aye? did you use to tell yourself ‘its ok Im failing this class, the guy next to me is doing worse?’. I thought SK is better than this, but apparently not.

      • wrle

        This is about defending and fostering democracy. It’s not comparing to the lowest denominator. pro north koreans have become a serious threat to national security in south korea and this “party” is the spearhead. If you know anything about the UPP Just read about their agenda and their plots to supporting north korea in the event of a war. This is probably the best thing president park has ever done since she came to power.

        • #koreanlogic

          Yep because banning political parties is the best way to defend and foster democracy

          • wrle

            Its not as simple as that. You have to understand the situation on the Korean peninsula which is still technically at war. The UPP is north korean aligned and has become a serious threat to national security. Despite freedom of speech with just about anything, any act of praising north korea is against the law south korea. The UPP guise themselves as “progressive” while they support the kim dynasty and socialist dictators like Hugo chaves. The complete opposite of democracy.

  • x1sfg

    The irony.

    “We’re for democracy.”
    Then proceeds to order a political party to disband for political differences.

    • 금정산

      It isn’t irony, it’s hypocrisy.

      • Maz

        No, it’s the smartest thing President Park has done so far in her presidency. I don’t know why South Korea was so lenient to let a Pro North-Korean party advocate North Korean values in South Korea. Their party cared more about North Korea, than the country they were in, and the citizens they are supposed to represent (ie. South Korea).
        That’s like having a pro-China party (say in Russia) that cares more about Chinese citizens and politics, than its own Russian citizens. Why does such a party not exist? because that’s banal.
        If they love North Korea so much, they ought to go over to the North and soak up their “democratic rights” there

        • Balkan

          Having a democratic society means that people are allowed to express their opinions even if we don’t agree with them. As long as they do not do anything violent (kill someone, commit a terrorist act, attack someone), people should be welcome to express their opinions in a civilized manner. Banning a party because it doesn’t agree with the political mainstream is violation of democratic principles. Let the voters decide. However, if a party is calling for violence and attack as well as fighting against the “enemy”, then they should be banned.

          • Chucky3176

            “However, if a party is calling for violence and attack as well as fighting against the “enemy”, then they should be banned.”

            The party called for violence and called for overthrow of the government. Their members also refuses to sing the South Korean national anthem, instead chooses to sing the North Korean worker’s labour song. Are you allowed to elect a party that is disloyal to the country in which they are expected to serve? Good question. I say no, because it only does them a favour and is counterproductive. This is not a black and white conspiracy to remove the opposition. If so, then the dozens of other opposition parties would have been removed as well. They are just as critical as the UPP in the ruling party, yet none of them were touched, only the UPP.

          • drolletjie

            Oh no! Not the Korean national anthem!!

          • Chucky3176

            Are you aware that North Koreans don’t even sing their national anthem? They do have one, they just are not allowed to sing it. It’s only used in international events like the Olympics. But when they’re at home, they must sing the Ode to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un songs.

          • Guest

            In the US it’s illegal to advocate for the violent overthrow of the government. Mind you, I don’t know much about the Korean law system, but I wonder why they didn’t just outlaw the disloyal acts instead of the party itself. It would have been a safer precedent from the point of view of preserving democracy, outlawing an act instead of an ideology or idea.

          • Bryan

            Uh this party that you are so eloquently defending was conspiring against South Korea.
            If you can’t secure the basic rights of your citizens -such as freedom from fear, or threat of violence- what’s the point of having freedom of speech?
            #securityisneededfordemocraciestothrive

          • security

            the argument used by every totalitarian regime in history

          • guest

            yup, including the most totalitarian of all, the US which tortures innocent civilians, and makes a hobby of monitoring private conversations of not only those in the US but in Germany

        • gohome

          thats right, i hope the US ban all korean interest and lobby groups here. its banal, if you love korea so much you ought to move your asses back and and soak up all the wonderfulness there

        • 금정산

          You’ve been influenced by false allegations and the conservative-led media.

          The UPP is unfairly labelled “pro-North”. They are actually critical of the DPRK when it comes to the nuclear weapons program, human rights abuses and the Kim regime.

          FYI
          http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/06/116_113271.html

          • Chucky3176

            That’s the leftist paper apologizing for the embarassing behavior of the leftist party. Notice, that the 2012 article says it’s a ‘task force’ that recommends the UPP from being such dicks. Obviously, the party didn’t heed the party’s own task force’s recommendation. And it’s precisely the same reason why the party recently broke up when those who were dissatisfied with the party’s leadership’s failures to distance themselves from North Korea, quit the party in disgust. Notice, also, there’s not much weeping and anger over the UPP’s demise by average Koreans who are usually highly critical of the government. That alone tells you how badly the party was perceived as, by the public.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Well I can see how this is a difficult decision. On the one hand, to have a democracy, you need to have opposing parties. This creates debate, and other options on how to tackle problems. Getting rid of a party with different political views seems pretty un-democratic.

    On the other hand it’s a pro-North Korean party. They’re dicks. A real conundrum.

    Either disband the dicks and be a dick. Or keep the dicks and be dickless.

    • KB Guest

      I say disband the dicks and become one! Better than letting the tumor in the breast flourish cut it off entirely!

      • Sophia Dalke

        Eh, the argument can be made that a) they would likely stay marginal and never be a significant threat to mainstream elections and b) if they stay organized they’re easier to keep tabs on and they’re not infecting the moderate parties and dragging them toward communism

        • Chucky3176

          That’s another reason why they shouldn’t have been disbanded. Now they’ll go underground, and they’ll go on-line to spread their bull shits. As long as they were organized, it would have been easier to keep an eye on their activities.

      • KB democracy

        That sounds like a dicky reply, lets ban you from the forums

    • mongrel

      so its ok to ban a party because they are apparently ‘dicks’ and you dont like them?

      • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

        I said nothing of the sort. I only posed the question. Allow free speech by letting the dicks stay around? Or silence them and forever hamper what you call a ‘democracy’, thus becoming the dick?

      • Gray World

        You know, South Korea is technically at war with North Korea. Imagine Pro-Germany Party in United States in WWII. It would have been unacceptable. I don’t approve of President’s actions, but it is not white and black here.

        • Ewnerd Nasalo

          Tough to compare the two when there hasn’t been open conflict for 60 years. Furthermore, during WWII there was an American Communist party. Granted that is only different to fascism in style rather in substance, so perhaps a moot point.

          • Chucky3176

            The North Korea party is not really Communist. They advocate following the Great leaders of Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong Il, and now Kim Jong Un. They are what the North Korean party calls them the great Baekdu bloodline. According to the North Korean belief, the Kim family are part of the great bloodline of Korean ancestors from the Baekdu Mountain in North Korea (known as Changbai Mountain in China). Therefore they have great magical powers of this bloodline who are the only line of people who are fit to rule North Korea. Of course this is all a lie, none of them were born there. Kim Jong Un’s mother is a Zainichi Korean from Japan who gave birth to Kim Jong Un, out of wedlock. North Korea is one massive brainwashing cult. There is no Communist system where the state provides for rations to the people. The rationing system has been destroyed ever since Kim Il Sung died in 1993. North Korea is now a completely warped oligarchy where the rich and power rulers who support the Kim family, own everything, live in lavish lifestyles, while forbidding the average North Koreans to own anything. The North Korean people are left to scrounge around to eek out a living. The men are forced to work in state jobs where they don’t get paid, these men are considered good for nothing’s by the North Korean women because the men who work at state jobs have little economic value. The women go out to illegal markets to sell whatever they can. It’s the women who go to China to bring back goods to sell. It’s the women who bribe North Korean guards to leave them alone to do their business. It’s now the North Korean women who hold the economic power in North Korean families.

            Never in history, has there been a country like North Korea.
            Cuba would be a complete paradise compared to North Korea.

          • Miniluv101

            Let me guess, you believe in the horseshoe theory and other bullshit? If you actually knew what you where talking about you’d see that communism and fascism hasn’t a shred in common.

            But enjoy having economic crisis after crisis, extortion of impoverished countries all for that sweet sweet new iPhone. All the while people are burning mosques or synagogues, because they fear what they cannot understand just because they’ve become familiarized with the system that prey on them.

          • Ewnerd Nasalo

            Communism and Fascism are simply two different means to the same ends. Sure, they are “different”, but as peasants in either sort of country have no choice but to praise their leaders for allowing them to exist in poverty, I don’t think they’d give a shit about what you decide to call their particular political system.

            Chucky is more right on this one in that N.Korea can’t really be compared with any other “Communist” governments.

            The fuck are you going on about with random shit like “impoverised countries” and “mosques and synagogues”? last I checked there weren’t many mosques being burned in PRC, nor is PRC impoverished for building iPhones, (although thousands of Chinese most certainly are)

          • Miniluv101

            Again, maybe you should actually try to have some knowledge about the topics on which you argue, because you’re seriously equating an ideology which basis itself on corporatism and a essential superiority of certain culture/races with one who seeks to give the working class the right to the fruit of their labour. The idea of a cult of personality has no place in communism, and you’d find few serious Marxists who would support the Stalinist or Maoist regimes.

            And maybe you haven’t noticed the victory march of neo-fascist parties across Europe? Or the witch hunt for Mexicans in the US? Workers are led to believe their worries come from foreigners when the actual cause is the capitalist system. A system that is currently draining Africa, Asia, South- and Central-America through the use of puppet dictators to gain control of the resources that should rightfully belong to the people of those nations. PRC is one of these neo-colonial capitalist nations, exploiting their own working class and those of other nations. It’s not “random shit”, your inability to see the connection of these things shows how indoctrinated you are to not see the actual price of capitalism.

          • Ewnerd Nasalo

            I’m not equating. I’m comparing. In practice, both ideologies end up having big similarities. If you disagree with that, fine. I don’t give a shit. You can make as many scotsmen as you care to, but you’re hard pressed to find many nations of supposed communist ideology that had no cult of personality.

            I am no fan of capitalism. Nor of the subjugation that it brings to developing nations. While the US does this to other countries China is generally happy to keep it all in house, so its a poor example for what you were trying to illustrate. My inability to see your connections comes more from your PREVIOUSLY incoherent rambling that saw fit to concatenate religious extremism with economics.

          • Miniluv101

            Then shit on Marxism-Leninism, but put blame where it belongs.

            The capitalist system as merely a economic tool of population control is quite passé. Try reading something of the Frankfurt School if you’re not familiar with cultural critique. I’m also questioning why, if you have no love for capitalism, you’d have so little love for the (more or less) only alternative?

          • Ewnerd Nasalo

            Passé perhaps, but is it lacking truth? Indeed, I am not familiar with Frankfurt School Marxism, thanks for the reading.

            There are negatives to every system. We are required to accept them to live in society. Appropriately regulated capitalism has it’s advantages, but in many places it has been co-opted by an oligarchy. A similar fate befell many communist nations. Some of the most successful nations with the highest standards of living and civil liberties have managed to incorporate socialist economic policies into their democracies, realizing that if a capitalist economy doesn’t benefit all it will inevitably benefit only a few. Honestly though? I’m too pessimistic and apathetic these days to have much love for either, Any place that won’t park my ass in jail for speaking my mind or being who I am is good enough for me.

        • Miniluv101

          Well it was unacceptable being Japanese in the US during WW2, but the actions of one totalitarian regime disguised as a democracy doesn’t set the standard for what democracy should be.

    • RegisterToPost

      This was a blatantly pro-North Korean party with 6 seats calling for violent overthrow of the ROK government. There is still a large contingent of left-wing politicians in the National Assembly that actually pledge loyalty to the ROK. The only reason they got elected was because the ROK elects assemblymembers through “Proportional Representation”.

  • Chucky3176

    “The party, formed in 2011, was accused by the Korean Government of being too inclined toward North Korean political values.”

    No no no… That just part of it. This party was found guilty of planning treason when they were taped in their political party meeting, urging the people to rise up when North Korea attacks. They even handed over to North Korea, blue prints of the South Korean targets, including police and nuclear power stations, as well as the inside look at the US military installations, and the names of the North Korean defectors in South Korea. They did a whole lot of damage to the national security of South Korea.

    Having said that, the government shouldn’t have disbanded this party. The National Intelligence Agency should have kept them monitored closely and they should have ferreted out all the North Korean moles, but leave them alone in operating as a fake political party. Nobody would have taken them seriously anyway. All this does is turns them into martyrs and bring charges of South Korea as undemocratic.

    • 금정산

      1. You are referring to the NIS transcript of the meeting which is a blatant misrepresentation of what was actually said.

      2. There is no evidence of giving military-related information to the North.

      The UPP did no damage to the security to South Korea and there isn’t ANY evidence for this. The UPP damaged the Park government by challenging the legitimacy of the election and the power of the NIS instilled by President Lee. The conservatives have brainwashed Koreans for decades using fear and “national security” to maintain their power.

      • Chucky3176

        blatant misrepresentation? Don’t give me that, we can all hear what was said on the tape. Lee Seok Ki, the same mastermind, also served 10 years for spying in 2003. He didn’t learn his lesson, and how he managed to become a Parliamentarian after consorting with the enemy is beyond me. And that was during when the rule of the leftist governments. You’re telling me what’s being said on tape isn’t what we’re all hearing? Give me a break. The UPP challenging the legitimacy of Park government is because they don’t believe anyone is legitimate in holding power in South Korea, unless they’re UPP or NPAD party sucking up to North Korea and going back to giving them economic aid for nothing.

        And this isn’t the first time either. The North Korean spies infiltrating South Korean governments have been a constant problem for decades. For instance 2005’s Ilshimhoe case, where UPP party officials and their co-horts involved in more spying cases – in which the case was ordered by then leftist government to drop all investigations without due explanation.

        http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00400&num=3212

      • wrle

        What most South koreans would say is, if you want to sympathize with kim jong un and the north korean regime, please just go and live in north korea or convert. Then everyone can be happy. Why do left nuts keep correlating democracy to north korea when north korea is about the most undemocratic thing that exists on this planet?

    • angrycorea

      the fact that this comment on top shows just how many idiotic korean nationalists are on this site. what a joke.

    • truth

      Even if UPP part members were involved in these alleged activities, the are individuals and are representative of themselves only. The UPP itself official holds a critical view of North Korea as clearly stated here http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2012/06/18/42/0401000000AEN20120618003400315F.HTML
      banning the party because of the actions of a few is like condemning all muslims because of IS. This whole saga is simply a farce in political machinations, if the same standards is applied to all Korean parties then they should all be banned.

      • Xman2014

        Look at the date of that article. Shortly after that press conference, those officials quit that party because the top UPP leadership didn’t want to listen to any dissenters. The same dissenters cooperated with the courts, even recommended that their own party that they once belonged to only few weeks before, be dissolved..

  • samesame

    looks like SK is no better than NK.

  • witchunt

    McCarthyism alive and well, its just been hiding in korea all this time

    • Guest

      Just imagine, if there was a party just like this one in the US that supported the north korean regime, gave blueprints of government buildings and nuclear plants and plotted to overthrow the US government in case of a war. I guess no one would care?

      • elizabeth

        That sounds like an awesome idea for a sequel to The Interview.

  • 금정산

    Once again, “national security” is used as a pretence to remove political opponents. It’s all about the conservative party maintaining their power. The UPP was highly critical of the involvement of the NIS and a threat to the Park government.

    Don’t take my word for it. Here is an excellent article on the history of the issue. The first 10 readers will receive a Chucky3176 prize pack.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-erosion-of-democracy-in-south-korea-the-dissolution-of-the-unified-progressive-party-upp-and-the-incarceration-of-rep-lee-seok-ki/5421925

    • Chucky3176

      Do your research on your sources first, before touting them as legitimate sources.

      I quote:

      “Despite presenting itself as a source of scholarly analysis, Globalresearch mostly consists of polemics many of which accept (and use) conspiracy theories, pseudoscience and propaganda”

      read the rest here.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch.ca

      • Boris

        Your own source isn’t great either.

        http://liberapedia.wikia.com/wiki/RationalWiki

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:RationalWiki (this was fun reading, fun in the ‘I have time to kill, let’s read this’ sort of way but pretty much RW is basically a blog with opinion pieces and shouldn’t be used as a source of information.)

        This might be better to support you though:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Chossudovsky#Criticism

        • Miniluv101

          You can’t imagine how much I’m laughing at you people throwing wikis at each other like they are even the slightest bit reliable.

          • Boris

            At best, wiki is a starting point for more information. They have references which you can use to dig deeper and form your own opinions. Of course, it shouldn’t be used as your only material as it is edited, especially on hot topics.

            And the ‘wiki’ that Chucky referenced is a site that looks and feels like wiki but isn’t.

      • Source

        Lets see what Amnesty International has to say then: http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/36246/

        • elizabeth

          Amnesty has shown little sense of context.

          • dumb

            Koreans reject reason for blind nationalism, even when being shown sense

          • elizabeth

            This is not blind nationalism. Just one question – what would Amnesty do if someone or a group from within its ranks voices his/their opinion against blindly subscribing to rights?

          • dumb

            Support them.

          • elizabeth

            Ditto my reply to Voltaire. You are applying double standards if you do not support South Koreans who exercised their rights to support the ban.

          • Miniluv101

            elizabeth, serious question, are you a aware how completely ridiculous your argument is? You are arguing that one should support an attack on free speech… because one supports free speech. See the problem?

          • elizabeth

            You don’t need to be a politician or form a party to exercise free speech.

            By the way, that often-used quote, “I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, are not Voltaire’s actual words so they should not be taken literally.

            Freedom comes in many forms, not only through speech but also (in)action, thoughts and even silence. If you ‘freedom-fighters’ still do not understand what I am talking about, go ahead and call my argument ridiculous, if it makes you feel any better.

          • Miniluv101

            You’re not answering the question. Why should I, who believe in free speech, support someone who strives to have my voice silenced? The source of the quote or the means which one uses to exercise that right is not what this discussion is about.

          • elizabeth

            I have answered, in fact more than what is required. Could be that you weren’t really listening. To indulge you further would be going round in circles.

            So, you may wish to do more research on free speech and democracy, and reflect on your own position in relation to the Korean context as well. Hopefully, you would be able to find the answers that lead to the light at the end of the tunnel.

            Otherwise, it’s okay if you still find my arguments ridiculous. That is your right and I support your right to think whatever you want :)

          • Miniluv101

            Oh come on, if you don’t want to discuss my criticism that’s fine but don’t act like you’re my better just because you’ve made your position incomprehensible. You remind me of all the people who walk away and calls Socrates a meddlesome fool at the end of every dialogue.

          • Voltaire

            “I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

          • elizabeth

            Great! Then you should support South Koreans in exercising their right to support the ban instead.

            Or is this hypocrisy/lip service, self-contradiction or blindly advocating rights for the sake of it?

          • Voltaire

            as a matter of fact, I do support their right to support the ban, because I support the right to free speech, it does not mean I agree with it.

            This of course is an entirely different matter to outright banning and silencing the opposition. Do you understand the difference there?

          • elizabeth

            I understand your position but this is not different. Voltaire would have supported it. This is democracy in action.

  • Boris

    “Now can you get rid of Jasmine Lee?”

    That got quite a lot of up votes to be mentioned on the comments. What has Jasmine Lee done to upset Koreans?

    • darklord

      That’s from Ilbe male vigins,that site is Korean stromfront.

    • Sillian

      There was a scandal about her possibly fake credentials but that kind of scandal isn’t only applicable to her. I think the main reason for the hate she gets is that she is considered by some netizens as a symbolic or head figure in Korean politics promoting multiculturalism and lenient policies towards illegal immigrants, whether this allegation is factual or not. She’s basically the main punchbag for those who are unhappy with the whole multiculturalism or immigration issue.

      • Chucky3176

        She is also one of the group of law makers who is touting a proposed bill that prevents deportation of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant kids, giving them all free education (even Korean citizen kids don’t get free education), as well as allowing their illegal parents to stay as well (hello world, come to Korea with your kids, stay illegally and we will support your life here!). The bill also proposes full welfare support for all the kids and their parents (even poor Korean citizen kids don’t get much welfare support). That fact damages her, even though she’s is not the only one who is pushing this bill in the Parliament. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for her position which is an awkward position. She was elected to promote minority rights, but when she tries to do so, her loyalty to the country’s questioned. But she should really back away and distance herself away from this crazy scheme like this, in which even the immigration friendly United States don’t even dare to practice. She should fight for reasonable immigration policies.

        • Boris

          Do you really think that its because of that bill Koreans dislike her?

          Do you really think that she wouldn’t be ‘damaged’ if she fought for ‘for reasonable immigration policies’?

          • Chucky3176

            No, but by leading this bill, she makes herself look much worse, and confirms the suspicions of those people who don’t trust her.

          • Boris

            To be honest with you, those that don’t trust her would still not trust her unless she did exactly what they wanted. She needs to do what she was elected for. Bills don’t usually pass as they are, there are compromises (or do things work differently in Korean politics?).

          • Chucky3176

            Those who didn’t trust her wouldn’t change their minds, but what I”m saying is, those who were on the fence, won’t be on the fence anymore. The bill will probably pass because both the ruling and the opposition parties agree with the bill. There maybe few changes, but I don’t think they’re going to change that much. There was an attempt by those who oppose this bill with petitions. After few thousand signatures after few days, it’s now petered out.

        • elizabeth

          There is quite a lot of drama going on here.

          You basically have a foreign-born lawmaker who not only advocates multiculturalism but also extends minority rights to illegally residing foreigners. The former is perhaps a necessity, given the baby problem. You either produce babies or the government will have to import them. The latter is a clear case of abuse of power.

          Minority rights should only be extended to legal residents, if not only citizens. Illegal residents are not minorities and giving them the same rights as legal minorities is a mockery of the citizens and legal residents.

          So it is understandable that she is unpopular because her loyalty is in question. Instead of serving Korean citizens and residents, she is protecting the interests of illegally residing foreigners.

          Actually, the US is now also doing something similar by giving away driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in some states. To me, it goes to show how desperate governments are around the world to solve the ageing population/labor problem. It’s a balancing act of conflicting priorities.

          For that matter, the Australian PM Abbott is one leader who has clearly placed his priorities in protecting the interests of his people, as seen from the way he handled the illegal migrant issue and the Ebola problem.

          That is the kind of leader I would like to have.

    • Rmin

      She has done nothing wrong. I wish her the best. As a South Korean it’s very refreshing and heartening to see a courageous woman in the parliament. Especially for becoming a voice of foreign residents and migrants in South Korea. But I feel very upset to see the difficulty she has and will have. This is because South Korea is still very closed society. Immigration is a very new concept and not accepted by everyone

      • wrong

        right, because banning a political party and silencing opposition through the courts is exactly what “democratic” south korea is all about

  • ChinaHole

    She is one crazy bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • takasar1

    lets be honest, does democracy exist in reality?? in its pure unadultrated form?
    not really. good example is this story, how can you claim to be acting based upon democratic principles when you force a political party to disband….

  • bultak23

    The UPP is doing the same thing that Holocaust deniers do, but worse because the crime is still going on.

  • nationalism

    I love all the koreans here blindly defending this while the government essentially destroys their rights. a nation has the government they deserve indeed.

  • democracy

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me

  • Boris

    If the party did indeed call for a violent overthrow of the government, then I can see the reason for banning/disbanding it.

    • Xman2014

      What’s more serious is not that they planned violent overthrows, the UPP party gave away important secrets and information to the North Korean government through covert and even open contacts. These leaks have caused serious damage to the national security of South Korea.

      This guy ratted out all his former colleagues.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4v1qMLMc-8

      As this former North Korean spy who was part of the force that was in charge of setting up NK mole cells says in the interview above, the UPP was created by North Korea whose goal is to use South Korea’s own democratic system to undermine South Korea itself. The UPP as an opposition party member of South Korean parliament, it would be much easier for their members to access state information. They then can pass these information onto North Korea much more easily. North Korea’s goal is to undermine and confuse the South Korean society, thereby weakening it, by planting moles in all parts of South Korean society, including the government. And if the UPP won the general election and becomes the ruling party, then they can just hand the keys over to North Korea without firing a shot.

      The upper leaders of the UPP party who got disbanded, should count themselves very lucky that the K-government is very lenient on them. They should have all been arrested for treason, but for some reason they were let off with this disbanding only. I guess Korean government was afraid of being overseen as oppressive, if they started arresting these members. The international organizations don’t care about the internal political dealings in Korea, all they care about is the North Korean spies having the right to speak their minds in South Korea. They may speak their minds in South Korea, but they don’t have the right to work for North Korea.

      • Boris

        I’m guessing that video is on youtube. I don’t have access to that at work.

        “They should have all been arrested for treason, but for some reason they were let off with this disbanding only. I guess Korean government was afraid of being overseen as oppressive, if they started arresting these members.”

        I think it is due to a lack of trust in the government, Park and the security people. The lack of trust is due to their own fault.

  • THI

    There’s no democracy in this world that allows complete free speech. Look at Europe. You cannot have a party that advocates Hitler German policies of wiping out the jews, just like you cannot form a party that advocates wiping out South Korea. In any democracy; you are afforded responsible free speech. But if you can’t handle your free speech responsibly then that right is taken away from you. Also I understand that the current upp leadership were not even elected. They elected themselves in the local party leadership election by stuffing their ballots. So it’s really funny that they accuse President Park of rigging the election in 2012.

  • Smith_90125

    It sounds a lot like Canada’s post-WWII history. Read up on the communist party who had members of parliament until it was discovered they were giving information to the USSR, courtesy of defector Igor Gouzenko. The communists were arrested and voted out of parliament, never to recover.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Rose_%28politician%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Gouzenko

  • Vasilios81

    I love how the netizens are racist enough to condemn Jasmine Lee in these posts, even though her party spearheaded the move to get rid of the Progressives.

    • Xman2014

      She may belong to the same conservative party, but she only works for, and cares about multicultural and immigration issues. She doesn’t get involved in politics (other then those areas which I described). Perhaps if she had shown more interest in other issues that would relate to Koreans, and not just issues that pertains to foreigners, the attitude would be different.

      • Vasilios81

        Of course multicultural families are a significant part of the Korean rural population and growing larger every year. She is one politician out of thousands and that’s her thing. Korea is changing and that’s that.

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