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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


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