- [Editorial] The Seriousness of Charges Against Lee Seok-ki Stated in the Request for His Arrest
According to the request for parliamentary approval to arrest Lee, which the government submitted to the National Assembly yesterday, Lee called the National Assembly the bridgehead for a revolutionary struggle and attended a secret meeting even before the problematic May 12 Revolutionary Organization (RO) meeting.
Unified Progressive Party lawmaker Lee Seok-ki, currently charged on conspiracy to stage a rebellion, attends the regular session of the National Assembly on September 2.
If these allegations are true, his actions can only be seen as abandoning his position as a lawmaker and colliding head on with the constitutional order. The truth behind this case will be determined through an investigation and a trial, but we cannot hide our shock and regret over the allegations raised.
The National Intelligence Service stated in the request to arrest Lee that Lee had told RO members that their workplaces were "the guard posts of a war against imperialism," and expressed the victories of RO members in the parliamentary election as "securing the bridgehead."
In an RO meeting held in Hapjeong-dong, Seoul on May 12, Lee stressed "preparation for a physical and technical war" and mentioned that "On the internet, there is a manual on homemade bombs using pressure cookers like the one used in the Boston terrorist attack," and that "One gun is more valuable than tens of thousands of nuclear bombs." The intelligence service also thinks Lee held the first secret meeting of RO in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province two days before the Hapjeong-dong meeting.
The anachronistic perception of reality by some members of the progressive party including Lee has already been revealed in the transcripts of the May 12 meeting, released by some media outlets. The people were shocked at the shoddy and absurd ideas, which seemed to turn the clock of history back 30-40 years.
After reviewing the allegations stipulated in the request for approval to arrest Lee, we find ourselves stunned. After all, these are statements difficult to imagine coming from a lawmaker of the Republic of Korea in the 21st century. Not a few statements are difficult to understand even in the light of common sense of ordinary citizens let alone a lawmaker.
Those who entered the National Assembly in the name of progress only to쟞ct like the extreme conservatives no longer have the right to call themselves a progressive force.
On the specific charges mentioned in the arrest request, Lee Seok-ki said "Most of the charges are not true. The purpose and intention have been conveyed incorrectly." He expressed his opposition, calling the intelligence service's investigation "a witch hunt and a verification of ideology."
It is true that the intelligence service has shown a lack of common sense in their investigation, deliberately leaking the transcripts to some media outlets. In addition, suspicions on why the agency decided to make the investigation칦hich they had secretly carried out for three years칛ublic now still remain.
However, a lawmaker, who is the representative of the people, should be willing to take on political responsibility prior to determining any legal responsibility. Whether or not Lee's actions can be determined as a conspiracy to stage a rebellion or as a violation of the National Security Act, the people have been greatly disappointed. Lee should be honest before the people. Revealing all the facts as they are and submitting to the judicial process is the least he could do for the people.