SEOUL (Reuters) – In southern Seoul, about 40 young South Koreans dropped early winter chills to show their support for…
SEOUL (Reuters) – In southern Seoul, about 40 young South Koreans dropped early winter chills to show their support for a planned visit to the South Korean capital of North Korea’s leader, chanting “Kim Jong Un! Kim Jong Un! Kim Jong Un is a big man! “
South Korean university student welcomes North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to Seoul is protesting near the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea on November 30, 201
8. REUTERS / Kim Jeongmin
Kim Soo Geun, who founded a youth group called the “Welcome Committee for a Big Man” has thrown up donors from passers-by so they can run a subway announcement to welcome Kim, who joined this year to visit Seoul.
“I like the communist party. You’ll like them soon,” he shouted.
More than a dozen community groups have been taken to welcome Kim, visit schools to gather welcome messages, imitate the dance movements of a North Korean art group, and even name his group after Mount Paektu, as Pyongyang says is Kim’s birthplace of holy bloodline.
Such activities have become possible as the presidential moon Jae-ice administration relaxes in the implementation of South Korea’s national security teams in order to improve relations with North Korea and stop its nuclear and missile programs.
Thousands of students, citizens and devotees were prosecuted, imprisoned and even executed under the 1948 Act, which “praises, spreads or propagates an anti-government organization.” Most were accused of spying for Pyongyang or carrying out other northern activities.
Now, the emergence of poopers, pro-Pyongyang activists who use the legislator’s looser application have given rise to conservative groups and ordinary citizens as experts say can wipe out the public support for the moon and his peace-keeping. Economic and laborious woes have already pushed Month’s approval classes to the lowest levels since the 2017 election.
Security representatives and some deterrents also say that abolition of the law could allow an influx of the north’s propaganda that exacerbates the Kim regime.
“Most South Koreans would support peacebuilding efforts with the north, but they are not prepared to praise Kim who has not yet shown his credentials as a credible leader,” said Cho Han-bum, a leading man at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.
“For them, Kim is still a dictator.”
Between January and October this year, only 15 people were obliged to violate the law, the lowest level of 10 years, according to a Reuters review by the Ministry of Justice of the Ministry of Justice, assigned to Joo Kwang Deok, a legislator . Five years ago, 129 people were charged.
“The action is virtually unenforceable”, Kim Jong-kwi, a lawyer who worked with six relevant legal cases. “Some say it’s almost a deadly letter.”
The law was adopted by the South in the wake of a rebellion of about 2,000 soldiers after Korea’s liberation from the Japanese occupation in 1945.
For decades of sometimes violent confrontations with the north, the law was mainly directed against suspect North Korean spies and sympathizers.
Critics say opaque definitions as “praise” and “incentive” in the law allowed for arbitrary interpretations that led to the abuse of former military dictatorships and governments to silence dissenters and political enemies.
Between 2007 and 2016, the South Korean government paid more than 212 billion dollars (190 million dollars) in compensation for 1,331 South Koreans who were falsified to violate the law in case dating back to the 1960s, according to Kim Dang, which compiled the data from the Ministry of Justice and the National Intelligence Unit.
Now the political shuttle has turned to the left, the same opacity gives the law fading in practice, experts say.
The moon, which, as a presidential candidate, said the law would be amended to prevent misuse of authorities, has cut staff at authorities responsible for implementing it.
Police Office said its security investigation agency had been cut to 479 this year from 580 last year. The administration has also reduced a military intelligence agency by more than 30 percent to 2900.
In an October survey of 1,013 South Koreans, more than half of them said they supported the National Security Act, while about one-third said it would be scrapped or replaced, according to an investigation of R & Search.
Pyongyang’s state media on Tuesday called for the repeal of the law on “never-before-seen fascist, anti-reunification”.
“There is no reason for the law to exist now when a new reconciliation phase and unity have come to North-South relations,” said KCNA in a comment.
The Division in South Korea comes to a head as Moon pushes to host Kim to Seoul as soon as in the month.
On Monday, a coalition of eight defenders, human rights and law associations said they opposed a few more inter-Korean summits failing to address human rights in the north.
U.N. investigators have reported the use of political prisons, starvation and executions in North Korea, says security chiefs and possibly even Kim Jong Un should be held responsible.
“The National Security Act is an anachronism from the Cold War era that should now be abolished,” said Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch. “But human rights must be on the agenda for all the different dialogues and discussions between North Korea and the rest of the world.”
After the 40 young students were in their pro-Kim campaign, a conservative citizen group filed a complaint to the prosecutor against them to violate the National Security Act. The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office told Reuters that the police were investigating the complaint.
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“Peace is good and good, but the organizations that extend Kim Jong Un go too far,” said Kim Jong-hoon, a 27-year-old IT worker. “I do not think it’s the way to lasting peace”.
When asked about a potential souring of the general feeling of Kim’s visit, Moon said it could not be “shared in public opinion” and he believes that all South Koreans would welcome Kim “with open arms.”
“Is it not every citizen’s desire if it helps to realize the nuclearization of the Korean peninsula and achieve peace between the south and the north?” Sade Moon.
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee; Further reporting by Jeongmin Kim and Minwoo Park; Editing Soyoung Kim and Lincoln Feast.
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