News / Asia

S. Korean Parliament OKs Arrest of Lawmaker on Rebellion Charges

South Korean lawmaker Lee Seok-ki of the leftist Unified Progressive Party, center, is greeted by his supporters as he leaves the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 4, 2013.
South Korean lawmaker Lee Seok-ki of the leftist Unified Progressive Party, center, is greeted by his supporters as he leaves the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 4, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
South Korean lawmakers have voted to allow the arrest of a colleague accused of conspiring to stage a rebellion in support of North Korea.

Seoul's National Assembly overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to waive the parliamentary immunity of Representative Lee Seok-ki of the Unified Progressive Party, a minor, leftist party that holds six of 298 seats in parliament.

The National Intelligence Service has accused Lee of leading a May meeting in which the UPP allegedly plotted to attack a national communications center and other infrastructure in case of a war with North Korea.

Before the vote, Lee called the charges a "medieval witch hunt" against him.

"The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has accused me of a horrible allegation - conspiracy of rebellion - and has conducted a medieval witch hunt by mobilizing the conservative press. Regardless of whether the accusation against me is true, an agenda to agree on my arrest is irrationally and barbarically proceeding at the national assembly."

The UPP says the accusations were made up by the NIS in order to distract the public from allegations that the spy agency attempted to rig last year's presidential election.

The NIS last week raided homes and offices belonging to UPP officials, arresting three of its members. Lee's arrest required parliamentary approval because lawmakers enjoy immunity while parliament is in session.

It is not clear if a district court will issue an arrest warrant for Lee.

The former student activist also faced subversion charges in 2002, before receiving a presidential pardon.

North and South Korea remain in a technical state of war since the 1953 agreement that ended hostilities between them was only a truce.

Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang flared earlier this year after North Korea's latest nuclear test. At the height of the crisis, North Korea was threatening nuclear war against its southern neighbor and the United States.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: HOK LEE GAN from: KUALA LUMPUR
September 04, 2013 8:37 PM
Spy practices can not apply to the Lawmaker, whoever, in drafting a law in the country, might be not doing in the interest of other colleagues. A "rebellious law" is still a law that people's representative is being elected to. A certain minority might want to propose a special interest but that is seemed to be no in the majority's best interest. And whoever is not in the same goal is rebellious.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid