Archive for the INS Category

S. Korea’s Former NIS director sentenced to prison for 2012 political interference [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Posted in INS, south Korea on March 8, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Feb 10, 2015

~ Won Sei-hoon found guilty of mobilizing agents to post online materials that sought to influence the 2012 president election ~

Former National Intelligence Service director Won Sei-hoon, 64, was taken into court custody after an appeals ruling found him guilty of violating the Public Official Election Act by ordering agents from the psychological warfare division to carry out organized interference in the 2012 presidential election.

The court’s decision, which acknowledges Won’s enlistment of the NIS to influence the election results, is expected to have major political repercussions.

Won was taken into court custody on Feb. 9 after Judge Kim Sang-hwan of Seoul High Court‘s sixth criminal division sentenced him to three years in prison and a three-year suspension of credentials for violating the NIS Act and Public Official Election Act by ordering about 70 psychological warfare agents to post online messages intended to influence politics and election results. Won had previously been indicted without detention.

In its ruling, the court said it “acknowledges that the NIS systematically interfered in the election, and that Mr. Won ordered this.”

The judgment found psychological warfare activities between the date of Aug. 21 and election day on Dec. 19, 2012, to constitute violations of election law.

“The election campaign began in earnest on Aug. 20, 2012, when Park Geun-hye was selected as the Saenuri Party candidate, and from that date forward there was a sharp increase in slanderous online messages about the Democratic Party and primary candidates Moon Jae-in and Ahn Cheol-soo, with content that changed in response to major election issues,” the court noted. The Democratic Party is the precursor to today’s New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD).

The court also determined that the psychological warfare division had violated the NIS Act with political activities between January and December 2012. Of the violations, activities dating from Aug. 21 – including 1,057 online “likes,” 101 posts and replies, and 136,017 tweets and retweets – were found to also be in violation of election law.

“The defendants used the essential functions and organizations of the NIS for activities in opposition to specific parties and politicians,” the court concluded.

“A state organization interfered directly in the online discussion sphere to systematically propagate opinions about election issues under the guise of ‘ordinary citizens,’” it added.

The court went on to say that Won “should bear ultimate responsibility for expanding and reinforcing the psychological warfare organizations and encouraging these activities.”

“He cannot be free from liability in proportion to the severity of the events,” it ruled.

The first trial court acknowledged a violation of the NIS Act, ruling the division’s activities to constitute political interference, but delivered an acquittal on charges of election act violations, arguing that the activities could not be viewed as an active and planned campaign for the election or defeat of specific individuals. Won was given a sentence of two and a half years in prison and a three-year suspension of credentials suspended for four years.

The appeals court also handed down sentences of one year in prison and a one-year suspension suspended for two years to former NIS third vice director Lee Jong-myeong, 58, and eighteen months in prison and an eighteen-month suspension suspended for two years to former division leader Min Byeong-ju, 57, on the same charges.

The opposition NPAD greeted the ruling as a “victory for the truth,” while the ruling Saenuri Party declined to express a position, calling the situation “deeply dismaying” and urging the NIS to take action to prevent similar occurrences in the future. The Blue House did not offer any official comment.

In a statement issued after the ruling, the group People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy declared, “This ruling, which unlike the first trial court recognized a violation of the Public Official Election Act, accords with the public’s common sense and will contribute to establishing democracy and justice.”

It also called the ruling “judicial confirmation of the unfairness of the 18th presidential election and the stain on the democracy [sic] legitimacy of Park Geun-hye’s presidency.”

It went on to urge Park to “take responsible actions that the public can accept now that it has become clear that she was the beneficiary of illegal election interference by state institutions such as the NIS.”

By Kim Seon-sik, staff reporter

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/677747.html

“An Antidote to Disinformation about North Korea” – Book Review; ‘North Korea: Another Country’, By Bruce Cumings, The New Press, 2004 [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Anti-communism, Bill Clinton, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, DPR Korea, George W. Bush, India, INS, Japan, Kim Jong Il, Korean War, Nukes, Saudi Arabia, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, World War II on January 1, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Al Olsen

28 December 2005

This Review was published nine years ago on GR.

Bruce Cumings, a history professor at the University of Chicago and a former Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea, has given us a badly needed antidote to the lies and disinformation about the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) being spread by the media and the Bush administration. The author has observed “the deafening absence of any contrary argument” and cuts through this smokescreen of ignorance in his well-researched historical study of North Korea.

Cumings directs his book to “the reader who wishes to learn about our eternal Korean enemy.” He believes that North Korea is a nation that cannot be understood apart from its historical past, including the “terrible fratricidal war (Korean War) that has never ended”; the 1930s guerrilla struggle against the Japanese and North [sic] Korea’s eventual emergence as a state in 1945; its relations with the South; its reaction to the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union; and “its interminable daily struggle” with the United States.

The author…admits to empathy for the underdog, “which is something I can’t help.” Cumings charges the U.S. with a significant responsibility “for the garrison [sic] state that emerged on the ashes of our truly terrible destruction of the North a half a century ago.”

Yes, the “history” spoon fed to Americans completely omits the holocaust from the air carried out by U.S. bombers and fighter planes against North Korean cities during the Korean War.

American planes dropped tens of thousands of bombs and many hundreds of tons of napalm on cities in North Korea. Even Winston Churchill criticized the savagery of the American attack when he commented, “When napalm was invented in the latter stages of World War II, no one contemplated that it would be ‘splashed’ over a civilian population.” Three million North Koreans died during this conflict, and 18 out of its 22 largest cities were 50 percent to 100 percent obliterated.

Cumings notes that by 1952, most of the survivors living in central and North Korea lived in caves. North Korea continued to burrow underground, and today it has over 15,000 underground facilities, many made of hardened concrete to survive nuclear attacks and American bombs. These include factories, plane hangars, and many other kinds of installations. The author again emphasizes that North Korea is a garrison state “because of the holocaust the North experienced during the Korean War.”

The 50th anniversary of the armistice ending the Korean War came and went on July 27, 2003, and 40,000 American troops remain in South Korea, where they have been since occupying the country in September 1945.

Cumings bitterly criticizes U.S. policy towards North Korea. On human rights issues, he points out how the U.S. has been fast to criticize the Communists “while ignoring the reprehensible behavior of our allies, that is, U. S. support for dictators who make Kim Jung Il look enlightened (the Saudis, for example).”

In addition, Cumings blames American confusion on an “irresponsible media” which lacks good investigative reporters, and is often “egged on by government officials.” He also blames South Korean security forces who “have succeeded for decades in getting Americans to stare blankly at one side of the Korean civil conflict, like a pigeon with nystagmus such that its head turns only to the left.”

The author stridently criticizes and blames the Bush administration for the ongoing crisis with North Korea. He accuses Bush of walking away from groundwork laid by Clinton [sic] for the resolution of the crisis. Cumings compares the foreign policy of the Bush administration to “amateur night at a halfway house,” and fears a real danger from “a mix of situations in which Bush’s preemptive strike doctrine could trigger war.”

He also castigates the radical right for their predictions of North Korea’s imminent collapse; they are “wrong-wrong-wrong,” he says, and cites a 1999 speech by CNN International President Joe Eason, a frequent visitor to the North, who stated “these guys (North Koreans) will tough it out for centuries, just the way they are.”

Part of the book is devoted to North Korean society and its development under socialism. Modern Korea had emerged from a class-divided, highly stratified society in which a long-standing system of chattel slavery had only been abolished in 1894.

North Korea experienced what Cumings terms a “smooth” transition to socialism following World War II. He partially attributes the transitional change to a long-time Korean tradition of “sharing and mutual aid of all kinds.”

Agricultural land was collectivized while farmers were able to keep their own homes and small garden plots. He credits the gardens as greatly helping farmers during the famine of the 1990s. North Korean farmland was worked communally, and farmers received a share of the harvest based on the number of hours of work they had done.

Formally low- and middle-class families now occupied favored social positions, and formally wealthy families who remained in the North could work and earn their way back up the social ladder. Only the very bottom rung was permanently reserved for Japanese collaborators.

Cumings pays careful attention to the weather and crop disasters of the 1990s. North Korea experienced record-breaking floods (1995 and 1996) followed by an equally severe drought and famine (1997). The author believes that the food shortage problem “has provided little evidence of a collapse of state power, except for breakdowns at the local level.” And Cumings adds, even at its worst, “the famine only began to approach India’s year-in, year-out toll (in proportionate terms) of infant mortality and deaths from malnutrition or starvation which I only mention because the media’s recent habit of depicting Kim Jung Il’s frolicking among a heap of starved cadavers.”

Finally, Cumings describes a declassified CIA report on North Korea, and a part of that report which describes the achievements of that society. The report says “North Korea provides compassionate care for war orphans in particular and children in general; ‘radical change’ in the position of women (there are more college-educated women than college-educated men); genuinely free-housing; preventive medicine on a national scale accomplished to a comparatively high standard; infant mortality and life expectancy rates comparable to the most advanced countries until the recent famine; ‘no organized prostitution’ and ‘the police are difficult if not impossible to bribe.’”

Cumings book provides a valuable service with its informative and truthful portrayal of North Korea. This book is valuable for combating the inevitable lies of the Bush administration in its imperial quest for global domination. North Korea faces the very real danger of war and more suffering at the hands of a bellicose Bush administration — a very good reason for this work to be widely read and passed on to other interested persons.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/an-antidote-to-disinformation-about-north-korea/1663

DPRK Women Jeer at Park Geun Hye of S. Korea for Her Babble [KCNA]

Posted in DPR Korea, Germany, INS, Korean Central News Agency of DPRK, Korean Reunification, Netherlands, Nukes, south Korea on April 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Pyongyang, April 1 (KCNA) — Park Geun Hye, the chief executive of south Korea, made reckless remarks of no help to the Korean nation during her recent trip to Germany.

Like an uneducated woman, she said that Germany and south Korea are “alike” and she has many things to learn and wants to follow the example of Germany.

In this regard, women in the DPRK are now jeering at her turpitude.

An Kyong Hui, a Pyongyang citizen, told KCNA:
It was not long ago that being an ignoramus, Park Geun Hye made a foolish speech, written by her aides, on the DPRK’s nuclear issue while visiting Netherlands, only to expose herself to public disgrace.
In Dresden of Germany this time, she mentioned her “three-point proposal toward the north” as if she was taking pains to ensure “peaceful unification”, but it became a laughing-stock. Her “proposal” was rejected even in south Korea as it is too poor to meet a response from the DPRK.
As a woman, I feel sorry to see Park behaving like a babbling countrywoman rather than a “president” wherever she goes.

Kim Un Gyong, a doctor at the Moranbong District People’s Hospital in Pyongyang, said:
In Germany Park talked nonsense that the DPRK suffers economic difficulty and food shortage, with a script cooked up by the Intelligence Service on the basis of defectors’ vituperations.
Disgusted at such nonsense, media of south Korea blamed her aides for having offered distorted information, questioning that Park went back to the 20th century.
What she does reminds people of a childish girl or a slow-witted person who does not know to act her age.
It is ridiculous for Park to care about others’ economic situation with south Korea faced with economic collapse and destitution.
She had better mind her own business, refraining from spinning gossip about others. -0-

KCNA English homepage: http://www.kcna.kp/kcna.user.home.retrieveHomeInfoList.kcmsf?lang=eng

S Korean Unified Progressive Party (UPP) lawmaker Lee Seok-ki sentenced to 12 years in prison on insurrection charge [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Posted in DPR Korea, INS, Juche Idea, south Korea, south Korean human rights hypocrisy on February 22, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Convicted on anonymous testimony??? Kangaroo court witch-hunt BS! Free Lee Seok-ki! – Zuo Shou

Feb 18, 2014

* Court accepts most evidence from politicized National Intelligence Service and its unnamed informer *

By Hong Yong-duk, south Gyeonggi correspondent

A court found Unified Progressive Party (UPP) lawmaker Lee Seok-ki guilty of plotting an insurrection to overthrow the government, sentencing him to 12 years in prison and banning him from running for office for 10 years. It has been 34 years since then-opposition leader Kim Dae-jung was convicted of the crime.

The court also convicted the other six defendants – including Kim Hong-yeol, chair of the Gyeonggi Province branch of the UPP – of most of the charges they were facing and sentenced them to 4-7 years in prison and banned them from running for office for 4-7 years.

On Feb. 17, Kim Jeong-woon, presiding judge of the 12th criminal division of the Suwon District Court, gave Lee a harsh sentence: 12 years in prison, and a 10-year ban on political activity. Lee had been charged with plotting an insurrection, inciting others to participate in the plot, and violating the National Security Law.

For the other defendants, prison sentences and bans on political activities were 7 years for Kim Hong-yeol, Lee Sang-ho, Cho Yang-won, and Kim Geun-rae, 6 years for Hong Sun-seok, and 4 years for Hong Dong-geun.

During sentencing on Monday, the court sided with the prosecutors in finding Lee and the other defendants guilty of most of the charges – including plotting an insurrection. “They committed the grave crime of [plotting] an armed insurrection in the middle of Seoul,” the judge said. The sentence came five months after the National Intelligence Service (NIS) took its investigation public with a raid on the houses and offices of ten individuals, including Lee, on Aug. 28, 2013.

The main question under debate in the case was whether there had actually been a conspiracy to carry out an insurrection. Throughout the trial, the prosecutors and the attorneys for the defense debated whether the objective of the 130 members of the so-called ‘revolutionary organization’ (RO) – who met twice in May 2013 in Gonjiam, Gyeonggi Province, and the Mapo district of Seoul – intended to subvert the constitution. The debate concerned whether the members were part of an organization that had the specific purpose of plotting an insurrection; whether the timing and method of this alleged insurrection were specifically defined; and whether the members had deliberated and agreed to this.

On Monday, the court came to the conclusion that the testimony and evidence of the [unnamed] informer satisfied all of the conditions for a conspiracy to overthrow the government…

…Throughout the trial, the question of whether the RO really existed was debated. On this point, the court ruled, “the 130 people [who attended the two meetings] were members of the RO organization, which had a command system that was grounded in juche ideology.” While the prosecutors referred to the RO as “an underground revolutionary organization that had accepted juche ideology,” the counsel for the defense countered that this was a fiction that the NIS had concocted from conjecture and the testimony of its [unnamed] informer…

…the court accepted the majority of the key evidence submitted by the prosecutors, including [disputed] recordings, the [similarly disputed] transcript of the recordings, and the testimony of the NIS’s [anonymous] informer. During the trial, questions had been raised about the admissibility of the transcript of the recording of the May meeting, which the NIS had submitted. There were 720 errors in the transcript, with “shrine at Jeoldu Mountain” being changed to “shrine of the decisive struggle”. The two phrases sound somewhat similar in Korean.

…The NIS investigation [allegedly] began with information provided by the [anonymous] informer.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/624674.html

UN report on North Korea targets both Pyongyang and Beijing

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Australia, Beijing, Black propaganda, Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, Corporate Media Critique, DPR Korea, INS, Israel, Kim Jong Un, Media smear campaign, Obama, Psychological warfare, Pyongyang, Saudi Arabia, Sino-Korean Friendship, south Korea, State Department, US imperialism, USA on February 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Peter Symonds
18 February 2014

The UN report on human rights in North Korea released yesterday marks an acceleration of the US-led campaign to destabilise and ultimately remove the Pyongyang regime. The [alleged] catalogue of horrors in North Korea is designed to stampede public opinion behind any US provocations directed against Pyongyang, but above all to intensify the pressure on North Korea’s ally, China.

The highly political character of the UN commission of inquiry was underlined by the comments of its chair, former Australian judge Michael Kirby, who declared that the repressive methods of the North Korean regime were “strikingly similar” to the crimes of Nazi Germany. He likened North Korean prisons to the Nazi concentration camps in which millions of Jews, gypsies and political prisoners were exterminated.

Kirby has already written to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, declaring that his commission is recommending that “the international criminal court render accountable all those, including possibly yourself, who may be responsible for the crimes against humanity.” In his comments yesterday, Kirby declared that the purpose of the commission’s report was to “galvanize action on the part of the international community.”

Kirby’s condemnation of the North Korean regime, picked up and amplified by the US and international media, recalls the demonisation of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic as the “Serbian Hitler” prior to the 1999 NATO bombing campaign that rained death and destruction on that country’s population. Similarly, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was subjected to a campaign of vilification prior to the illegal 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that devastated the country and killed hundreds of thousands of people.

North Korea is a small, impoverished and isolated country, not an imperialist power like Germany, which, under the Nazis, launched wars of aggression that ravaged Europe…the targeting of governments and individuals by the UN and its associated institutions is invariably highly selective, politically coloured and geared to the predatory interests of the imperialist powers, above all the United States.

No one is suggesting that a UN commission of inquiry be established into any of the crimes of US imperialism, such as waging wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq — the crime for which the Nazi leaders were convicted at Nuremberg. Similarly, no UN investigations are under way into the crimes and human rights abuses of US allies such as Israel or Saudi Arabia.

The lengthy report is based largely on the testimony of North Korean refugees and exiles who provided [allegations] of their [prison] treatment…The commission of inquiry was barred from entering North Korea.

…the North Korean exile community, particularly in South Korea, is heavily influenced by anti-communist organisations, right-wing Christian groups and the state apparatus, particularly the South Korean National Intelligence Service. The UN commission of inquiry has now given its official seal to testimony from this layer.

It is no accident that the report itself echoes the propaganda that has emanated from Washington for years…

Those who should be held criminally responsible for starving the North Korean people are above all the successive US administrations that maintained an economic blockade of the country following the 1953 termination of the Korean War, in which the United States killed hundreds of thousands of Korean civilians and soldiers. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington systematically tightened the sanctions regime on North Korea in a calculated effort to bring about its collapse. Any humanitarian aid came with political strings attached. In the mid-1990s, economic sanctions compounded food shortages caused by a string of natural disasters, leading to widespread famine and deaths.

While the role of the US and its allies in systematically destabilising North Korea goes unmentioned, the UN commission report does single out China for special mention. It specifically criticises China for its return of asylum seekers to North Korea, suggesting that it is in breach of its obligations under international refugee laws.

China is not alone, however, in branding asylum seekers as so-called “economic refugees” and…repatriating them. Governments in Kirby’s own country, Australia, are notorious for the “refoulement” of refugees.

The real purpose of the accusation against China is to place it in the dock alongside North Korea, potentially opening up Chinese leaders to charges of complicity in “crimes against humanity.” The UN commission report feeds directly into the Obama administration’s escalating provocations and pressure against China throughout the Indo-Pacific region, as part of its “pivot to Asia.”

The US is targeting North Korea in particular because it is China’s only formal ally and acts as a buffer for China on its northern border. A change of regime in Pyongyang to one sympathetic to Washington would further tighten the noose of US alliances, bases and strategic partnerships around China.

Not surprisingly, the US State Department welcomed the UN report.. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal praised the report for “naming and shaming Pyongyang’s accomplices in Beijing.”

The editorial continued, “The report marks the first major mention of China by name in a UN assessment of North Korea,” and concluded by bluntly declaring, “The report’s findings underscore that Western policy should focus on squeezing the regime with a goal of toppling it.”

The trip to Asia by US Secretary of State John Kerry over the past week signaled that the Obama administration intends to step up the “squeeze” not only on North Korea, but China as well. North Korea topped the agenda in Kerry’s talks with Chinese leaders. He told the media that China had to use “every tool at their disposal, all of the means of persuasion that they have” to compel North Korea to denuclearise.

By extending the accusations against the North Korean regime to “crimes against humanity”, the US is effectively ruling out any compromise or deal with North Korea and setting course for a confrontation with Pyongyang and its ally in Beijing.

Edited / excerpted by Zuo Shou; full article here: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/02/18/kore-f18.html

To cling to power, ROK’s Park administration resorts to force [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Posted in INS, Protest action, south Korea on January 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 23, 2013

By Jeon Jong-hwi, Im In-tack and Lee Jung-gook, staff reporters

The Park Geun-hye administration, which has maintained an “uncommunicative and proud of it” approach on contentious social issues, is ramping up its use of force and rejecting dialogue.

In the latest development, police stormed the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) on Dec. 22, the fourteenth day of an ongoing strike against railway privatization. It was the first time authorities had been sent into the KCTU since it was legalized in 1999.

The police were there to execute arrest warrants for nine members of the leadership for the Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU), but the individuals in question weren’t there. Instead, the 136 KCTU officials and members who fought back against the police were rounded up and arrested.

After convening an emergency meeting of its central committee, the KCTU declared a “genuine campaign to bring down the Park administration,”…

The government’s attack on the KCTU was a signal of how anxious it is to end the KRWU strike, which has drawn out to become the longest in South Korean railway history. As popular support for the anti-privatization strike remains high, the situation appears poised to escalate into a more general anti-privatization campaign in areas like healthcare and education. With the “front lines” of the privatization furor now parked on the railway, the government appears to be trying to break them down as quickly as possible.

Previously, Park called the strike a “groundless action that shows a lack of trust in the government’s promise not to privatize.” Police and prosecutors promised to enforce the law rigorously.

“There seems to have been a strategic decision by the hard line bureaucrats in the Blue House,” said Cho Hee-yeon, a professor at Sungkonghoe University’s graduate school of NGO studies. “Crushing the privatization strike is the only way to keep the unions in check, and they would also be able to push the next phase of their policy.”

“In short, they see it as a great opportunity,” Cho said.

Indeed, unions are among the best organized areas in South Korean society for speaking out on social issues.

Another of the government’s aims is to draw a clear line that extends beyond the KRWU to all members of the labor community who oppose the administration’s policies. While the KCTU, KRWU, and civil society in general have proposed setting up a “social dialogue” framework to address the key issue in the privatization furor – the establishment of a KORAIL subsidiary – the government’s response has instead been an ostentatious use of force. In effect, it has shown that it intends to respond to the debate by putting physical force ahead of dialogue.

“The government should be the ones initiating dialogue,” said a KRWU source on condition of anonymity. “Instead, they’ve issued what amounts to a declaration of war. They refuse to even recognize the body that is the supreme representative of unions, viewing it as an enemy instead.”

Some are saying the administration’s militant response is a reaction to having its legitimacy called into question. From this position, the actions are intended to break a deadlock that has been going for nearly a year since Park took office.

It’s a year that has seen one problem after another for the administration. Already facing a challenge to its legitimacy due to the election interference by the National Intelligence Service and the military’s Cyber Command, it has had to deal with a backlash over backpedaling on its basic old age pension election pledges, the privatization controversy, and charges of “targeting” former Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook.

“These actions come in the context of questions about the administration’s legitimacy, after it emerged that the election that brought it into office was unfair, along with a loss of popular support over the backpedaling on election pledges,” said Catholic University of Korea professor Cho Don-moon.

“They can’t win the people over, and they’re trampling on the right to pursue stability and happiness,” Cho added. “What happened today shows just how weak the administration’s legitimacy is.”

The KCTU’s declaration of a campaign to “bring down the administration” comes two years and one month after the ruling Saenuri Party (NFP) single-handedly pushed the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement through the National Assembly in Nov. 2011…

Full article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/616601.html

“Korean Conspiracy Trial” – Neo-fascist witch hunt against Unified Progressive Party in ROK [Counterpunch]

Posted in Corporate Media Critique, INS, Protest action, south Korea on January 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 25, 2013

by GREGORY ELICH

It made worldwide news when Lee Seok-ki, representative in the South Korean National Assembly, was arrested on charges of treason. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) fed media outlets with a transcript of a meeting that Lee attended, which appeared to reveal plans by the Unified Progressive Party to take up arms against the South Korean government in the event of war with the north.

The release of the transcript came at the height of national protests against interference by the NIS in the national election of December 2012. The Unified Progressive Party (UPP) was at the forefront of the anti-NIS demonstrations, and the furor that resulted over the accusations against Lee and the UPP succeeded in stifling mass protests.

In a sense, Lee Seok-ki and his six co-defendants have been tried twice; first in a trial by media, in which inflammatory news accounts based on one-sided details and misinformation provided by the NIS convinced a majority of South Koreans that Lee was guilty as charged.

It appears that the second trial, now underway in a Suwon district court, may yield a quite different result, based on the unravelling of the prosecution’s case…

Full article link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/25/korean-conspiracy-trial/