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.
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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid