Another day, another gazillion articles about Rep. Lee Seok-ki at the Chosun, Dong-A, etc.
BTW, in case anyone feels the need to point it out, don’t bother, I’ll do it for you—yes, by constantly blogging about this story, I’m part of the problem. The NIS is likely using this scandal to distract attention from its own behavior, and if I were a better man, I’d be focusing all my blogging attention on that.
I just don’t have the willpower, though—this Lee Seok-ki thing is fascinating, and I need something to hold me over until season 4 of The Walking Dead begins.
Anyway, say what you will about Rep. Lee, but if what the government is saying about him is true, at least he runs a tight ship. An alleged meeting of his Revolutionary Organization in May was disbanded in just 10 minutes after one official from the Gyeonggi-do branch of the UPP showed up drunk and another organization member turned up with young children. Lambasting both, he dissolved the meeting for security reasons.
The Dong-A Ilbo reports with horror that Rep. Lee’s revolution included both a violent, illegal side and a legal, political side. In August of last year, Lee allegedly told group members that the UPP would surpass the Democratic Party as Korea’s largest opposition party and go on to win the 2017 presidential election. Most politicians feel this was pure delusion on the part of Lee and comrades.
Lee also described North Korea as a strong nation and South Korea as an American colony. More specifically, he said the United States had controlled Korea by using its two-party political structure to effect a divide-and-rule strategy. He thought American imperialism was falling apart, though, and that as the weakest link in the American imperialist chain, the Korean Peninsula would be the central stage of the global revolution to throw off the American imperialist yoke.
Hah. The American tax payer should be so lucky.
To be safe, the government has tacked on “instigating rebellion” to the list of charges facing Lee. This is just in case Lee argues that all his did was give lectures and that he did not conspire to commit rebellion.
Interestingly enough, as lawmaker, Lee asked for 30 pieces of material from the Ministry of Defense. He got 27 of them; the ministry refused to hand over three of them, citing the need to keep military secrets. In case you were wondering what those three were, they were a joint Korea—US response plan to localized North Korean provocations, material on joint Korea—US military exercises, and material on weapons acquisitions.
Rep. Moon Jae-in, the Democratic Party’s candidate in the last presidential election, is taking it in the neck from the Saenuri Party. As Senior Presidential Secretary for Civil Affairs under the Roh administration, Moon was responsible for pardoning Lee in 2003 (letting him out of jail) and 2005 (restoring his political rights). It doesn’t help that Moon abstained in the vote on a preliminary measure that would allow a vote on Lee’s arrest warrant… a motion that got the support of 255 of the 264 voting lawmakers.
Democratic Party floor leader Park Jie-won is countering accusations that his party gave birth to Lee by forming an electoral alliance with the UPP by accusing the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations of doing a poor job of keeping track of pro-North Korean activists and spies. This would sound better coming from a guy who didn’t do time for illegally sending money to North Korea. It might also sound better coming from a party that did not let Lee visit North Korea twice despite him having served time for pro-North Korean activities.
Well-known progressive figure Rhyu Si-min—one of the founders of the UPP, mind you—thinks both Lee and the NIS are out of their minds.