Go to contents

Gov`t to Strictly Punish Violent Protesters

Posted June. 30, 2008 03:04,   


The government expressed its concerns over the ever-intensifying demonstrations yesterday, saying that it would sternly deal with it.

Five ministers, including Justice Minister Kim Kyung-han, Public Administration Minister Won Se-hoon, Culture Minister Yu In-chon, Labor Minister Lee Young-hee and Director of the Office of Prime Minister Cho Joon-pyo, jointly released an emergency statement in the Central Government Complex in the afternoon that day.

In the statement read by the justice minister, they said, “The government will track down, arrest and punish by the law those who incite or lead violent demonstrations or those who are engaged in extremely violent protests.” They added, “The government will file a civil lawsuit for damage to property.”

They also expressed their concerns by saying, “The initially peaceful candlelight vigils changed into violent and organized demonstrations led by a few people, and resulted in an unfortunate situation like the one that happened last night (June 28).” They stressed, “It is inevitable for the government to be tough in accordance with the law to prevent any unfortunate incidents caused by physical clashes, including spraying of tear gas.”

They described the planned strike by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions on July 2 as a strike for political purposes, which has nothing to do with working conditions, emphasizing, “The government will take the union accountable for the strike and illegal organized behavior.”

Furthermore, the ministers urged lawmakers actively engaged in the candlelight vigils to attend the National Assembly.

Asking whether the lawmakers who are participating in the protests are doing the right thing by encouraging illegal, violent demonstrations with their participation, they stressed the lawmakers are responsible for handling pending issues in the National Assembly. The five ministers said, “Hard-working ordinary citizens are bearing the brunt of the illegal and violent demonstrations, with stores around Seoul City Hall suffering sales declines, and foreign investors and tourists shunning the country. Please demonstrate mature citizenship by offering your arguments while abiding by the law.”