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Yoon says even the presidential office allows protests

Posted June. 08, 2022 07:55,   

Updated June. 08, 2022 07:55


“Even the presidential office allows protests. Everything will work out in accordance with laws,” South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said regarding conservative groups’ protests around the private residence of former President Moon Jae-in in Pyeongsan village in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province.

President Yoon answered as above when asked by correspondents on his way to the presidential office on Tuesday regarding the protests near the former president’s private residence. It is interpreted that the president meant there was no legal ground for the government to block the protests. The members of the Democratic Party of Korea called for the Yoon administration’s proactive response to the protest involving foul language. President Yoon drew a line to the opposition party’s request.

“The freedom of assembly and association is the most important basic right in a free democratic country,” said a member of the presidential office during a briefing on Tuesday. “President Yoon spoke on those principles.” However, some members of the presidential office believe that the pro-Moon members; request is beyond a matter of principles and antinomic. While senior members of the presidential office said that protests against a former president involving foul language and slandering should be refrained, they added that it is not right for the members of the Democratic Party to request President Yoon to control the protests without reflecting on what they did to former Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.

The Democratic Party of Korea criticized that President Yoon’s comment was extremely petty. “The president’s comment will aggravate the protests in Pyeongsan village and send a wrong signal to the police who are supposed to control protests involving foul language,” said Jo O-seop, the spokesperson of the Democratic Party of Korea. “It would have been better if President Yoon had called for protestors to refrain from protests even though they cannot be blocked legally,” Keum Tae-seop, a former member of the Democratic Party of Korea, said on Facebook.

Su-Young Hong gaea@donga.com · Ji-Hyun Kim jhk85@donga.com