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No Change in Government`s Position On Legalization of Hanchongnyeon

No Change in Government`s Position On Legalization of Hanchongnyeon

Posted August. 11, 2003 21:34,   


Chung Wa Dae Monday said the government will not be swayed by the recent intrusion by members of Hanchongnyeon into a US firing range when it decides whether to legalize the outlawed student activists` group. As Justice Miniter Kang Kum-sil, however, has voiced a cautious approach to the issue, differences between the government and Chung Wa Dae over legalization of the anti-US student activists` group are widening.

Moon Jae-in, presidential aide for civil affairs, said in a meeting with reporters Monday, “There is an urgent need to address an unreasonable situation where students are punished when they join the leading student organization because which is outlawed,” strongly suggesting that the intrusion incident and legalization issues should be dealt with separately.

He also went on to say, “It is an exaggeration to say that the government will delay or reconsider legalization of the outlawed student group because legalization is urgently needed at this point, “ adding that the government will sternly deal with those who are responsible for the unfortunate incident in accordance with the outcomes of the on-going investigation into the intrusion case.

“It is "sad" that the members of Hanchongnyeon, the Federation of Korean University Student Councils, were not changing for the better despite the government`s sincere efforts, including taking off members of the group from the prosecution`s wanted list. Hanchongnyeon needs to change to a level that the public can accept,” he said.

However, the Justice Minister said in a meeting of the parliamentary judiciary committee, “Regarding Hanchongnyeon, the terms of “legalization” and “removal of members from wanted list” seem to be used improperly. The ministry has clearly stated Hanchongnyeon is an illegal organization benefiting the interest of the enemy. And it has an intention of removing those who were indicted or turned themselves in to the police from the wanted list, not those currently wanted by the police.”

Regarding the intrusion incident, she said, “The investigation to determine whether the illegal demonstration was organized by Hanchongnyeon has not been completed yet. I believe that there has been a fierce in-fighting going on, given that when the leadership of the outlawed student activists group has tried to take a moderate line, even mentioning its constructive dissolution, some hardliners within the group raised strong opposition to its recent move.”

Choi Byung-yul, chairman of main opposition Grand National Party said in its executive committee meeting, “As shown in the intrusion incident by Hanchongnyeon, violent, illegal demonstrations will threaten the foundation of Korea`s hard-won democracy,” insisting that President Roh is totally responsible for the current crisis because of his government`s leniency towards the outlawed student organization.

Jeong-Hun Kim Hyung-gwon Pu jnghn@donga.com bookum90@donga.com