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Play Satirizes Strife and Conflict in Nat`l Assembly

Posted September. 25, 2009 07:34,   


Hacksaws and hammers appeared again yesterday in Korean politics in a play satirizing the recent violence at the National Assembly.

Respected elders staged a performance satirizing politics at a memorial hall honoring freedom fighter Yoon Bong-gil in southern Seoul. Through the performance, they criticized lawmakers for turning the National Assembly into a place for vulgar language and violence and showed how enraged the people are.

Former Education Minister Park Young-sik, who played a representative of the governing Patriotic Party, made a parliamentary address. Members of the opposition Patriotic People’s Party jeered him.

When a discussion on the public livelihood began, certain lawmakers took out hammers, hacksaws and even axes. Sohn Bong-ho, a chair professor at Kosin University, and Kim Hak-joo, an honorary professor at Seoul National University, reenacted a physical brawl.

After the performance, lawyer Kang Ji-won summed up the purpose of the performance with one sentence: “We are so desperate.” The audience all cheered.

A discussion on the conflict in Korean society followed. Kyung Hee University professor Kim Min-jeon said, “It’s regrettable to see those advanced in years perform a play criticizing Korea’s political situation.”

“Many of Korea’s social conflicts originated from the National Assembly,” Kim said. “Politicians only seek the pleasure of the party leadership to be nominated as candidates in general elections without paying attention to constituents. This has aggravated party strife.”

He also urged reform of the nomination system to allow constituents to choose their leaders.

World Peace Forum President Kim Jin-hyun said, “Over the past century, Korea has experienced both extreme success and failure,” adding, “Learning lessons from such extreme experiences, we must find ways to resolve social conflict.”

Lee Myeong-hyeon, an honorary professor at Seoul National University, said, “We set up parliament to resolve social conflict through dialogue instead of fistfights. But lawmakers have scuffled at the National Assembly,” adding, “This is because of the Constitution that concentrates power in the president.”