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Arrest Imminent for Professor Who Called Korean War a “War of Unification”

Arrest Imminent for Professor Who Called Korean War a “War of Unification”

Posted October. 13, 2005 07:06,   


Prosecutors have reportedly decided to issue an arrest warrant for Kang Jeong-koo, a sociology professor at Dongguk University, who is accused of violating the National Security Law.

A prosecution official said yesterday, “Regarding the controversy over Kang, we reached an agreement,” adding, “Regardless of discussions or views from the political circle, we decided to deal with this case in accordance with the law.”

The official said, “It is inevitable to arrest him, given that this case is significant because it is related to the identity of Korea, and Kang shows no sign of reflection about his action, even if he disturbed the law.”

The official continued to say, “We plan to lead the investigation that is currently conducted by the police.”

Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin said in a press conference, “What is the most important in this case is the standard of law.” He added, “The prosecution does not need to see how the wind blows in the political circle,” hinting that prosecutors will not be swayed by opinions from the ruling party, including Cheong Wa Dae, that Kang should not be arrested.

Kim said, “Like the case surrounding Korean-German sociologist Song Doo-yul, this case also appears to be dealing with sentiment instead of law, but the prosecution will cope with this case in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution and law.”

Hwang Gyo-an, the second deputy prosecutor of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, said, “Freedom of ideas under the Constitution can be restricted by law for the purpose of national security, the maintenance of order and the public welfare,” adding, “The prosecution will apply the National Security Law to those cases as we did in the past.”

Earlier, when the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency currently investigating the case asked the prosecution to command this case on October 7, it expressed its opinion that Kang should be put into jail on the grounds that Kang violated the National Security Law.

Kang was accused on charges of violating the National Security Law because he insisted that the Korean War is a unification war attempted by the North’s leadership in a column posted on a website.

Separately, Kang was arrested in September 2001 on charges of writing and signing his name in a visitors’ book that the two Koreas should be unified in accordance with spirit of Mangyeongdae when he visited the North in August 2001 (a violation of the National Security Law), but was released on bail. Currently, his first trial is underway.

Jin-Kyun Kil jin0619@donga.com leon@donga.com