[Editor’s note: The following testimony is of Rep. Lee Seok-ki who is a progressive South Korean National Representative. He is a member of the 2nd largest oppostion party (but comparing to the giant ruling party, it’s a small minority), called the Unified Progressive Party (UPP). The testimony was made at his Feb. 3rd’s Final Defense at a Seoul Local Court in defense of his absolute innocence against the illegally-elected Park regime’s infamously framed “anti-state crime” case. It’s so-called the crime of “conspiracy of a rebellion.“
For the sake of historical record, the “illegally-elected President” Park has been thrown into nonstop, unstoppable and irreversible political and legal crises ever since she took the power in February 2013. As well-known both in and out of country, it’s been due to a never-heard of massive scale by/with/through unprecedentedly, unimaginably, and extraordinarily ILLEGAL, DECEPTIVE and EXPEDIENT methods of interventions by both the departing Lee and the incoming Park joint-regime’s entire (both political and legal) power apparatus.
The entire power system that has been directly and indirectly involved with the illegal election crime specifically means the following: Starting from the Presidential Office, the ultra-right, pro-Corporate, pro-US, pro-Japan Conservative (therefore, extremely flunky and reactionary) Ruling Party’s top leadership, the notoriously incompetent but vicious and cunning National Intelligence Service (i.e., Korean CIA), Defense Ministry, Seoul’s entire Corporate (meaning, pro-regime) Media outlets, the incompetent but blindly royal to the power like soulless servants Attorney General Office and its entire Prosecutorial System, the oppressive but, like the Prosecutorial HQ, blindly royal to the power like a “faithful dog” National Police HQ, and even the nation’s Central Electoral Management Committee.
In order to get out of the never-ending crises, backed by US, the Corporate Media and the major business communities, Daughter Dictator Park and her entire faithful servants within the both ruling party and the government system have attempted to destroy first and foremost the strongest and REAL opposition party, the UPP, by framing them into the case of so-called “crime of conspiracy of a rebellion.”
The Park regime, like her predecessor Lee, has been able to so far survive ONLY by/through the Korean extremist version of McCarthyism, i.e., the “witch-hunt” in South Korea’s notoriously arbitrary politics, i.e., the over 60 years-old “Division Politics.”
The following testimony made by Rep. Lee should be read from the sociopolitical and historical background of the above-mentioned Division Politics which has not only dominated but also sickened the entire South Korean society. After he made this powerfully-moving final testimony and tens of thousands of supporters have earnestly called for his release from the jail, the notoriously pro-regime “puppet court” sentenced him the 20 years for the above-mentioned “framed anti-state crime” case.
Of course the lawmaker Lee and a half dozen other party members who’ve been also accused in the same case of the “framed conspiracy of a rebellion” crime have all appealed to the Seoul High Appellate Court.
Prof. Kiyul Chung, Editor in Chief, The 4th Media
“The Ultra-right Pro-US Extremist President (The Former Dictator’s Daughter) Who Seemed To Have Been Busy ONLY With Her Global Fashion Show, While Progressive People Like Rep. Lee Sit In Jail And The Majority Population Go To Bed With Hungry Stomach”
The Final Testimony of Rep. Lee Seok-ki
February 3, 2014
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the past five months of proceeding. I can understand you must have experienced difficult times in leading the proceeding in a fair manner as the “conspiracy of insurrection” charge on me was unbelievably grave. As a defendant of the case as well as a member of society, I would like to extend my appreciation to the court.
Looking back, my first step into the politics in 2012 was already very controversial. During the general election campaign of 2012, I was labeled as a representative “pro-North Korea” by conservative media.
Then I was unfairly criticized of rigging the proportional representation race of the party and soon the prosecution accused me of swindling money out of the public purse. However I had the confidence that truth always wins. I believed if I try and work sincerely as a representative, any misunderstanding would be resolved.
Then last late August, a literally unbelievable accusation was made against me. Isn’t it preposterous that an incumbent representative of Korea plotted to forcefully overset the elected government which was in its first year with the majority of people’s support?
However, I had already been trapped in the conservative’s frame of “North Korean followers.” I had been even stigmatized as resisting the national anthem. Immediately the media waged witch-hunting against me, reporting every ungrounded or fabricated story provided by the National Intelligence Service. Finally I was dragged out of the national assembly to the court.
I can bear any false accusation and stand any dishonor if it is targeting just me. But these subsequent events were not just targeting me but my party the Unified Progressive Party which is a heart of the progressive camp. The Ministry of Justice filed a petition to dissolve the UPP with the Constitutional Court, insisting the party unconstitutional after my trial began just as if it was waiting an opportunity.
I am very concerned that even before substantial truth of my case is identified, it may affect the future of a progressive party which was made of blood and sweat of countless progressive activists who have dedicated themselves to the people for decades. Your Honor, so I am appealing to you in my final testimony which is a fully guaranteed right in the court.
As it has been proved during the trial, I have neither had a connection with North Korea nor tried to overthrow the government with force. I have believed and still firmly believe that democracy and progress in Korean society should be and can be achieved only by Korean people’s power.
For the past 30 years of my life in progressive movement, I have strived to explore a new way of progress for the people and by the people, trusting my people not depending on North Korea, Russia (the former Soviet Union) or others.
Moreover, observing peaceful power transition of 1997, I found the confidence that from now on no group could seize power through any other way except election and a progressive camp would be able to come to power through election. Since I was released from prison in 2003, I have dedicated myself to peaceful power transition of progressive party for the last 10 years.
The prosecution accuses me as the head of so-called RO that I have never heard of. It is just like looking for a horn from a rabbit. The prosecution asks me to bring the evidence of non-existence. It is a complete nonsense.
The accusation that I plotted a rebellion last May, defining the period as a war is also preposterous. Though I thought the spring of 2013 was a really serious political situation, I never saw we were in a war. Proofs that I referenced to in my speech (e.g. the Obama’s Playbook plan on North Korea) clearly demonstrated it. In addition, the early May when I delivered my speech at Marist Education Center saw lowered crisis and relieved tension on the Korean Peninsula.
I cannot understand if anyone could instigate a rebellion and plot an insurrection in such a circumstance. What I wanted to tell in my speech was that we needed to recognize the severity of time when the Korean Peninsula was undergoing a tectonic change. I tried to point out that setting up a right point of view on the fundamental catalyst of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula – shaking division structure was critical rather than discussing practical means on the current political situations.
There is no benefit but only damage when Korean nation is divided into the North and South, confronting and disputing each other. What I said in my speech was though it is imperative for Korean nation to move forward reconciliation and reunification, the way before us will not be an easy one.
In addition, I expressed my concern that if the US which has been a critical impact on the Korean Peninsula ever launches a military attack against North Korea, it will be a catastrophe for all Koreans.
When I suggested the “physical and technical preparedness,” it didn’t mean sabotages or disorder as the prosecution accuses. Rather I only presented the message to “prepare an anti-war campaign” in order to prevent co-destruction of Korean people not to prepare a war. More importantly, I proposed to turn the crisis of division into an opportunity of reunification and exercise the full power of people’s dynamic and creative will and wisdom, thereby paving the road toward peace, reconciliation and reunification.
The prosecution also accuses speaking of independence, democracy and reunification as following North Korea, which reminds me of the logics of the suppressive prosecution during the Yushin administration under the Park Jung-hui’s rule. However independence, democracy and reunification are core values of the Constitution of Korea.
The Constitution achieved by the people’s blood through the 1987 democratic movement succeeds to the spirit of independence from the March first movement against the Japanese colonial rule and the spirit of democratic revolution from the April 19 revolution against the dictatorship.
The Constitution also prescribes a call to accomplish a peaceful reunification. Voicing for independence, democracy and reunification can never be regarded as agreeing with North Korea; it is a doctrine of Korean people who live today’s Korean society.
If the line of independence, democracy and reunification is following North Korea, it is like saying we should go the way of subordination, dictatorship and division to avoid sympathizing with North Korea. Isn’t it a total nonsense?
I already defined the charge against me is a political manipulation fabricated by the NIS. As proved during the trial, in fact, even the NIS didn’t see my speech on May 12 as an event to “plot an insurrection” in the beginning. Lee Seong-yun, the NIS informant or so called “collaborator” who had infiltrated into the UPP disguising as a member for three years testified at the court that he didn’t know it was a “conspiracy of insurrection” case before the August 28’s search and seizure.
Key executives of the “utilities” such as gas, communication and power who were summoned as witnesses for the prosecution stated at the court that they didn’t receive any report from the NIS for four months after my May 12 speech and found about it only after the media reported in early September.
In addition, the title of the last request to restrict communication (asking for permission of wiretapping) made by the NIS on July 28 described the case as violation of the National Security Law, demonstrating the NIS didn’t identify the case as a conspiracy of rebellion at that time.
I believe understanding political situations of last August is very important to see the substantial truth of the case. The NIS’ illegal intervention in the presidential election caused pan-national anger. Raged people requested the dissolution of the NIS while asking the Cheongwadae (the President’s Office) to hold accountable. Then suddenly the alleged insurrection conspiracy case was announced by the NIS, absorbing all other issues like a black hole.
The insurrection conspiracy black hole sucked up everything including the NIS’ meddling into politics, the responsibility of the Cheongwadae, and disputes over the NLL and transcripts of the Inter-Korea Summit. The Chief Prosecutor was kicked out, political circles were frozen, and any criticism against the incumbent administration was branded as pro-North Korea.
This decades-aged tool to eliminate political opponents by stigmatizing them as the Reds or pro-North Koreans has become very sophisticated and complicated through media play. The attempt to attack the UPP by instigating the Red Complex and subsequently destroy the coalition of the opposite has continued until today since 2012.
The prosecution is aiming to gain judicial confirmation on the Korean version of McCarthyism from the trial, thereby preventing the political opposite from rising to power by destroying the foundation of the opposite’s alliance. It is a part of efforts to arrange a strong base for permanent seizure of power by the current ruling power.
Not only I but also the UPP were targeted as the scapegoat of this lunatic plot, weren’t we? If there was a conspiracy, it was not my conspiracy of insurrection but the Park Geun-hye administration’s conspiracy of permanent ruling.
If we lived under the Yushin regime or military dictatorship, such a lifelong seizure of power attempt would succeeded. However it is not possible today. Korean people who toppled down military dictatorship will never allow it. If the Yushin revives, the June Struggle of 1987 will revive.
Therefore, I am confident that this trial will serve as a milestone to demonstrate where Korean democracy stands.
On the occasion of my final testimony, I would like to extend my gratitude to those who appealed for my release. Professor Noam Chomsky and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark far from the US, Bishop Kang Woo-il, artist Park Jae-dong as well as many fellow representatives signed a petition for me.
A total of 103,797 citizens in and out of Korea signed the petition. I fully understand how much courage they needed to appeal for my release amidst a witch hunt-type atmosphere. Therefore, their courageous actions are even more grateful. I believe they signed the petition not just for me but for the future of our society. So I really thank them very much.
My thanks also go to fellow members of the party who have provided the full support throughout the trial. I could feel sincere care and trust whenever I saw their presences at the court and on the way from and to the prison. They have sought for truth without wavering even amidst the unprecedented political suppression. I am sure they are the true guardian of Korea’s democracy which is one of the most precious values in the world. I can see they may have both expectations and concerns on the judgment of the court. They may worry about the impact of this trial on the decision of the Constitutional Court over the dissolution of the UPP.
However, I am confident that a progressive political movement will never be frustrated despite any result as it has represented the aspiration and hope of the people in Korean society. As long as Korean nation, Korean people and Korean society continue to exist, a progressive political movement will be standing by them alive. I could clearly see the proof of the hope in fellow members of my party.
Once again, thank you for your hard work to proceed the trial in a just and fair manner. Personally the past five months of imprisonment and proceedings allowed me to have an invaluable opportunity to reflect myself objectively. I hope to see the trial serve as an important milestone to show where Korean society stands today and where it should ahead tomorrow.
Praying for a wise decision of the judge heralding the prelude of a new spring in a democratic republic not a frozen winter republic, I conclude my final statement.
Thank you for your attention for a long time.