Thanks to the UPP, every day must be like Christmas at the Chosun Ilbo, where today, they point out—not to anyone’s surprise—that many of the UPP’s lawmakers with “National Liberation” backgrounds have acted like they don’t recognize the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea.
Of the six lawmakers from the Gyeonggi Dongbu Alliance, most were, at one time at least, followers of late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung’s Juche ideology, which defines the ROK not as a legal nation, but as a colony of the United States.
At its last function, the party did not sing the national anthem or fly the Korean flag, a curious practice former co-leader Rhyu Si-min criticized in the past.
One opposition official even told the Chosun that these guys seem to view even the military as not the last bastion of the nation’s defence, but rather a tool to maintain the colonial state, and that this is where the Jeju-do “pirate base” comments came from.
And then there are the elected lawmaker’s comments:
- Lee Seok-gi recently went on radio and said being pro-US was a bigger problem than being pro-North Korean;
- Asked in August 2010 if the Korean War began with a South Korean invasion or a North Korean invasion, then-DLP head Lee Jung-hee responded that there are historical arguments, and that she would think about the issue more carefully and give her answer later. We’re still waiting for it.
- Some of the elected lawmakers said after North Korea’s 2006 nuclear test that North Korea’s nuclear weapons were for self-defence.
- Lee Seok-gi recently said we need to view North Korea’s dynastic succession through North Korea’s eyes. Lee and Rep. Lee Sang-gyu were both active in the Jucheist National Democratic Revolutionary Party.
- In 2008, then New Progressive Party leader Sim Sang-jeong (now UPP co-chair) said in an interview that she had no idea why the North Korean human rights were being brought up at that time.
- Elected proportional rep Kim Jae-yeon’s husband was reportedly busted with about 90 banned books, including Kim Il-sung’s memoirs. The party’s policy chief and the others involved in the Ilsimhoe Case were caught with the same memoirs.
- Quite a few arrests for membership in and activities with a variety of anti-state organizations.
MARMOT’S NOTE: OK, pretty much anyone who was involved in the pro-democracy movement has an arrest record, and a lot of folk back then were radical leftists. Most grew up. Some, however, didn’t.
Ordinarily, this would simply be just another amusing but ultimately insignificant inter-left factional fight that would be of importance only to the left-wing press. Yet as thekorean pointed out after the general election, the UPP were one of the big “winners”:
Winner: UPP. With 13 seats, UPP became a legitimate power by winning the greatest number of seats as a progressive party since the DLP won 10 seats in 2004. It even won the most thrilling victory in Gyeonggi Goyang 1, where its executive member Shim Sang-Jeong defeated NFP’s Sohm Beom-Gyu by 170 votes. DUP, with its disappointing results, will have to rely on UPP as well.
Of course, it could be that none of the proportional reps ever see the National Assembly, with the UPP voting to forfeit the candidacies and irate netizens launching an “Occupy the UPP” movement.
UPDATE: At least two of the UPP’s proportional reps who are under fire have registered as lawmakers, which means even if they are kicked out of the party (which seems very likely), they’ll keep their jobs as lawmakers.