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Member since: Sat Mar 14, 2009, 09:45 PM
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The Kim Hak-eui scandal and the "illegal ban" of his attempted flight from South Korea.

Kim Hak-eui ascended to the position of vice minister of justice during the Park Geun-hye administration. He was only in office for a few days when he had to resign because of accusations that he had earlier engaged in a course of conduct of sexual debauchery and accepting bribes in the form of sexual favors. During the Park administration, prosecutors nolle prossed ( 무혐의 ) the charges on two occasions.* They said Kim denied being in the video and the victim's specific identity couldn't be determined in a sex video recorded in a luxury country villa in Wonju. Charges of accepting bribes were also dimissed by prosecutors. One victim claimed that she and others had been drugged and raped repeatedly by Kim Hak-eui and another man at the villa. Another female victim allegedly committed suicide. The victim only identified as "Lee" claimed she was physically threatened to not disclose the incidents. She also claimed that the other male defendant threatened to publish the sex videos if she acted up.

* 김학의 별장 성접대 사건, https://namu.wiki, downloaded 2.26.2021

Police believed the evidence was sufficient when they made the referrals to the prosecutors office. Ms. Lee's attorney filed a formal criminal complaint which was basically ignored by prosecutors according to one press observer. At some point it was alleged that another victim prompting the second prosecution determination in 2015 accepted financial support from the suspect bribing Kim Hak-eui and the charges of all victims were thereby discounted by prosecutors and generally discredited in the press. Allegedly, Kim's home and accounts were never searched by prosecutors during the 2013 to 2015 investigations. In 2019, the case was investigated again, and on May 16, 2019, Kim was arrested. At the first trial Kim was found not guilty and the case went up on appeal for rehearing. In October 2020, at the appellate court hearing, Kim was found guilty, and given a prison sentence of two and half years, for accepting different bribes during a later period. The appellate court ruled the statute of limitations had passed on the earlier crimes of receiving bribes and sexual favors.

Before his arrest in 2019, Kim Hak-eui attempted to flee from South Korea to Thailand. This came to the attention of a team of investigators appointed by the Justice Ministry to investigate the earlier prosecution mishandling of the case. Upon discovery of Kim's imminent plan to leave South Korea, a prosecutor assigned to the Justice Ministry team requested that Kim be detained at the airport. According to the supporters of the current Prosecutor General, Yoon Seok-yeol, the travel ban order and detention of Kim at the airport was unlawful because the legal documents prepared were defectively executed and without authority.

This is a version of the events according to the conservative Korea Herald:

Kim had resigned as the vice minister of justice after just six days on the job during the former Park Geun-hye administration in March 2013, due to allegations he had received bribes and sexual favors.

He was acquitted (emphasis added) of bribery charges in 2013 and 2015.

In 2019, under the Moon administration, a reinvestigation into Kim was launched over suspicions he received bribes and sexual favors from businessmen between 2006 and 2011.

On the night of March 22, 2019, Kim was stopped at the gate of a flight bound for Bangkok at Incheon Airport as a prosecutor named Lee Kyu-won in the fact-finding team of the SPO requested from the Justice Ministry an emergency overseas travel ban.*

*Controversial travel ban on ex-vice minister backfires,
By Kim So-hyunPublished : Jan 14, 2021 - 13:52 The Korea Herald, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20210114000731

(Source- YTN News file video rebroadcast 2.24.2021) Lee Seong-ryun, ( 이성윤 ) Chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Branch, Seoul, regarded as the "restraint" on Yoon Seok-yeol has been subpoenaed in an investigation "turnaround," in which he becomes the suspect. ( 이성윤, '피의자 전환' ) Ultimately, Lee could be a candidate for Prosecutor General, the top position now currently held by Yoon Seok-yeol when the latter's term ends.

So, improbably, the Suwon Prosecutors Office, is now currently investigating, Lee Seong-ryun, the Chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, for his alleged role in the "improper" issuance of a prosecutor's order to block the suspect Kim from fleeing South Korea while an investigative process was pending against him. While the conservative press supporters of the current Prosecutor General Yoon Seol-yeol, propagate this narrative of a so called miscarriage of criminal justice, by issuance of the "illegal prohibition" of foreign travel by Kim, there is an ulterior motive behind the investigation.* When Yoon's two year term in office ends this July, Seoul District Chief Lee is very likely to be appointed his successor as Prosecutor General by the Blue House. When this happens, cases currently being investigated by Lee, and other prosecutors assigned to his office are likely to proceed. As a result, in the near future, Yoon and his remaining followers in prosecution offices, will be unable to prevent investigations and indictments of Yoon, relevant subordinate prosecutors, or Yoon's family members from going forward. As in so many other cases, the investigation of Chief Prosecutor Lee is another episode of "civil lawfare in the republic of lawyers."

While it is difficult to keep track of the laundry list of cases which have not yet run up against the statute of limitations, the Channel A News scandal pending against prosecutor Han Dong-hun allegedly involves Yoon. In addition, there is a new so called "mortuary fraud" case involving Yoon's mother in law along with the hospital fraud indictment filed against her last November. There is the Deutsche Motors stock options case against Yoon's wife, which is currently under investigation. Attorney Rim Eun-jeong, ( 임은정 ) a well known critic of the General Prosecutor's Office, has been appointed by the Minister of Justice as a special prosecutor assigned to Lee's office to investigate the political prosecution of former Prime Minister, Han Myeong-suk, which allegedly relied on perjured testimony solicited by prosecutors. Prosecutor General Yoon publicly criticized Rim's appointment and the granting of investigation powers to Rim by the Justice Ministry as "useless."

So the innuendo now disseminated in the conservative Korean media, is that Lee is not a fitting candidate for Prosecutor General, and that someone more to Yoon's liking should be appointed to fill the vacant office after his departure. The media script accompanying the Suwon office's investigation of Lee is criticized by progressives as accurately framing Yoon's desperation, if nothing else. Yoon's upcoming departure is eagerly anticipated by the ruling democratic party. In the view of the Justice Ministry it can't happen soon enough. It is quite unlikely that the Blue House would pick anyone sympathatic to Yoon after all of his political vendettas aimed at sabotaging the democratic Moon administration and the series of prosecution reform initiatives passed by the National Assembly in 2020, and currently being implemented. Incredibly, Yoon is still regarded by conservatives as a viable presidential candidate for the so called People's Power Party in 2022.

* Hol Seu-hyung's 시사건건 youtube channel commentary interpreting these political events. His 2.26 youtube in particular: 너무 초라해진 윤석열의 현재상황. 윤석열의 처참한 말로가 보인다. 이성윤 검찰총장 가즈아.

South Korea: More corruption in the administration of justice

(Source- 타이거행크TV, 2.20 youtube; outtake orig source jtbc news) Prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun: "Yes sexual assault, but the meaning is rape."

In 2015 former prosecutor Jin Dong-kyun, raped junior prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun. The case was apparently thoroughly investigated at the time by the Seoul Southern District Branch Prosecutors Office. Jin was allowed to resign and take a job with a prominent company and the incident was covered up. Early in 2018, Seo appeared on JTBC to complain of her treatment by the male dominated prosecutors office and the handling of her case. In the conservative press, Seo was referred to in derogatory terms such as "gold digger," as her case became public. A task force of women prosecutors was formed in response, which found a detailed investigation report of the incident had already been accomplished in 2015. They proceeded to indict former prosecutor Jin. Jin's second trial, confirmed his guilt of "sexual assault." His sentence of only 10 months was confirmed. The court placed him in confinement. The victim Seo has maintained consistently, that the crime is rape, and not a lesser offense.

(Source- 타이거행크TV, 2.20 youtube) Jin Hyung-ku, former prosecutor and defendant's father, (left); the defendant Jin Dong-kyun (center); and (right) Han Dong-hun, ( a close associate of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol), who is currently under investigation for misconduct in the so called Channel A News scandal.

One would expect that a forcible sexual crime by a senior in an employment context, committed against a subordinate would get more serious punishment. The endemic problem among the "silver spoon" class of attorneys in South Korea, is the notion that they are above the law, and entitled to the perquisites of their rank. Sex discrimination and sex crimes are just another category of corruption and immorality in the so called "republic of lawyers." Prosecutors and many of their of their colleagues, stand along with their judicial, media, and chaebol partners above the law, decades after the putative demise of authoritarian government in South Korea. The conservative mainstream media in South Korea has given little attention to this trial outcome according to the source. The report alleges this is because former prosecutor Jin Dong-kyun's wife is Han Dong-hun's sister. This according to critics makes the defendant part of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol's "royal family."

(Source- 타이거행크TV, 2.20 youtube) Attorney Kim Jae-ryun (center) calls for democratic candidate for mayor of Seoul, Woo Sang-ho, to retire from the race because he said that Park Won-soon was a "role model."

The right wing faction of the Me Too movement in South Korean nominally led by private attorney Kim Jae-hyun, has been, not unexpectedly, silent about the sexual violence cover-up by the Yoon faction in the justice world while renewing their proxy campaign against the deceased Mayor Park Won-soon as a form of noise jamming. This faction of the Me Too movement representing conservative elements, is the proxy for the Gook Min eui Him Dang's Na Kyung-won, who is a candidate for Mayor of Seoul. Na Kyung-won also called for the democratic mayoral candidate Woo Sang-ho to withdraw from the race because of positive statements about deceased Mayor Park. Kim Jae-ryun had accused the former Mayor Park of sexual assault and sexual abuse of his secretary while in office. No official investigation has found any wrongdoing by former Mayor Park.* Na tries to portray herself as the women and families' candidate as she literally has nothing to offer otherwise as the corrupt scion of authoritarian aristocrats from the days of dictatorship. She is a former judge, and her husband is currently a sitting judge who allegedly has stalled and diverted criminal complaints against Yoon's family. Prosecutors recently nolle prossed criminal cases against Na, otherwise she may have been rendered ineligible for office. Na failed at re-election to the National Assembly in April 2020, in large part because of her coordination of brawls and sit ins at the National Assembly designed to block legislation to reform administration of criminal justice in South Korea.

*Deceased Mayor Park Won-soon- Trial by Media in South Korea, Sept. 14, 2020; https://civilizationdiscontents.blogspot.com/2020/09/deceased-mayor-park-won-soon-trial-by.html

South Korea: Civil "lawfare" continues in the Administration of Justice

President Moon Jae-in appointed Park Beom-gye as his nominee for Justice Minister after the disciplary debacle concerning Yoon Seok-yeol's unprofessional conduct as Prosecutor General of South Korea resulted in the resignation of former Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae. The democratic Justice Minister that President Moon appointed previous to Chu Mi-ae, resigned as a result of charges brought against his wife, and himself in 2019. So the unflappable Prosecutor General Yoon remains in office, with the help of judicial cronies, the conservative media, and the so called corrupt special interests in South Korea. A new adversary arises to take him on.

Yoon met with the new justice minister at a "neutral location." Apparently they met to discuss pending personnel changes in prosecution offices which are controlled by the Ministry of Justice. Ostensibly, the Prosecutor General's office is subordinate to the Justice Minister, but you'd never know it. Yoon brought charges against former Justice Minister Cho-guk's family almost immediately after Cho's appointment, allegedly with little or no prior investigation. Therefore the trials against Cho and his wife dragged on for almost a year and a half and are far from over. Cho's wife was recently sentenced to four years in prison for allegedly submitting false documents in support of her daughter's college admission years ago, using inside information illegally in a personal investment, and concealing evidence. Many observers regard certain aspects of the case against Cho's wife as completely fabricated. This while the Samsung heir, Lee Jae-yong, convicted of bribing Choi Son-sil, former President Park's aide and shaman, to the tune of a few million dollars, (to help secure control of Samsung) recently received a two and a half year sentence. The other millions Lee spent on buying Park Blue House influence, were held to be a legitmate corporate "sponsorship" upon review.

After filing disciplinary charges against Yoon, former Justice Minister Chu found herself subject to allegations of misconduct in the conservative mainstream media controlled by Yoon's close friends. She was accused of getting her son special treatment from the Army after he was injured in training which rendered him unfit for unlimited service. Nevertheless, Chu doggedly pursued reforms of the prosecutor's office and the establishement of a corruption office for high government officials independent of the prosecutor's offices. She propelled a disciplinary proceeding against Yoon which resulted in a disappointing administrative sanction of two months suspension from office, for acting with political bias in office, and conducting illegal investigations on sitting judges. An administrative court reversed the decision saying that the disciplinary board did not have a quorum because some members recused themselves for potential conflicts after the board convened. Chu then tendered her resignation.

Which brings us to the current Justice Minister Park Beom-gye. Park and Yoon met on February 5. The picture below is regarded as evidence of Yoon's insubordinate attitude and disrespect for his nominal superior the Minister of Justice.

(Source- 뉴스반장 2.5.2021) Again Yoon's revenge theater begins..."Investigate Justice Minister Park Beom-gye!" Same pattern, same objective. "There is one target, block prosecutorial reforms!" This time is the third time already.

Yoon (left) sits directly opposite Park, in a challenging disrespectful pose, with suit open, stomach hanging out and legs spread.

Accounts of the Yoon-Park dialogue suggest that Yoon desired to have Seoul Central District Prosecution Branch Chief, Lee Seong-yoon, transferred or promoted out of his current position. Lee's office is responsible for supervision of the so called "press-prosecution collusion" scandal in which Channel A News reporter, Lee Dong-jae, and prosecutor, Han Dong-hun, were involved. Han Dong-hun's Iphone was seized under a warrant, after it was reported that the Channel A News reporter had communicated with an imprisoned witness and his agent soliciting perjured testimony against Yoo Shi-min, a former minister of the No Mu-hyun administration and the director of the No Mu-hyun foundation, a progressive political institution. Yoo Shi-min is a prominent critic of the right and supporter of reforms in the administration of justice in South Korea.

So far, Lee's forensic team was unable to crack the security key on Prosecutor Han's Iphone. Allegedly, it's operating system was updated after South Korea had obtained the requisite software to decypher the digital lock. There has been pressure from the Prosecutor General's office and the conservative media to drop the case for lack of evidence, but there was a political and public backlash, after it was disclosed that a new software would be forthcoming to obtain the forensic key. Interestly enough, it is said that there are 2700 contacts of one sort or another between Prosecutor Han, Yoon Seok-yeol, and Kim Geon-hee, (Yoon's wife) recorded on Han's Iphone. It is conceivable that this may be a breakthrough that will ultimately bring down Yoon's network of corruption which extends into the judiciary, the media, and the corporate sector. Yoon's request to Justice Minister Park also called for the reinstatement of Han Dong-hun as a front line prosecutor. Yoon's request in that respect was also denied. Lee Seong-yoon is regarded as the agent of the Ministry of Justice inside the prosecutor's offices by Yoon and his followers.

(Source- 뉴스반장 2.5.2021) (left) Lee Seong-yoon, Seoul Central District Prosecution Branch Chief; (right) Han Dong-hun, currently in a holding pattern in the Prosecution research facility.

After Yoon's most critical requests were disregarded by Justice Minister Park, the Taejon District Branch Prosecutors Office, know to be close with Yoon, unexpectedly (sic) announced it was commencing an investigation of Minister Park's holdings in the Myeong Kyeong law firm of which Park was a founding member in 2012. It is alleged that Park retained a proprietary interest in the firm after assuming public office in the 19th National Assembly and derived large profits from his holdings in violation of government ethics laws. Park has stated the charges are false, that he has had no income from the firm while in office and that his actions are in compliance with government ethics rules. The source cited above, reported that Park gave up his current interest in the firm January 14. The Taejon District Office is also conducting an investigation against the Moon administration, particularly the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, allegedly for fabricating economic evidence that supported the decision to close the Wolseong Nuclear Reactor No. One.

Associated with the alleged improper Wolseong Nuclear Reactor shutdown charges is the absurdly incongruous and misplaced accusation that documents were destroyed within the agency or its subordinate departments which showed that the administration intended to deliver nuclear reactor parts to North Korea. So the goal here is actually a frontal assualt on the Moon administration. One critic has pointed out that there had been international plans to build reactors in North Korea, supported by previous administrations during the so called Agreed Framework and Six Party Talks days. So these charges fit into the ridiculous conservative assertion that President Moon "is a secret North Korean agent for Kim Jong-un." This accusation was disclosed by People's Power Party leader, Kim Jong-in. As a side note, after left of center candidates for office in the Pusan run off election proposed building a sorely needed new international airport for the city of Pusan, the same Kim Jong-in, not to be outdone, made the absurd proposal of building a tunnel to Japan from Pusan. In another absurd development on the conservative side, the shape shifting Na Kyung-won, a trusted ally of Yoon Seok-yeol running for mayor of Seoul, proposed bonuses totalling approximately one million dollars for any couple forming a household after marriage and having at least one child. Charges pending against Na for corruption were recently nolle prossed by prosecutors.

I have two previous articles posted on this blog on the press prosecution collusion scandal involving prosecutor Han and reporter Lee Dong-jae:

1) South Korea's Press-Prosecution Collusion Scandal: the audio transcript, JULY 23, 2020

2) Seoul Judge Cancels Lee Dong-jae Search Warrant, July 26, 2020.

The blog has over a dozen other articles on Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol and the political corruption in the administration of justice in South Korea posted since March 2020.

The blog has one post on the leaky nuclear facilities at Wolseong. South Korea: Nuclear Contamination detected in underground water at Wolseong Nuclear Power site, Jan. 8, 2021.


South Korea: Odd Behavior by Democratic Party Leader Lee Nak-yon?

Lee Nak-yon is one of the leading candidates for president in the next general election in South Korea in the spring of 2022. He was the democratic Prime Minister of South Korea until January 2020. He was elected to the 21st National Assembly April 15, 2020. Now he is the current party leader of the ruling democratic party in the National Assembly.

(Image source: SBS youtube 10.11.20) Lee Nak-yon calls for a strict and thorough investigation of the allegations related to the Optimus Fund. He said he would respond strongly to any false allegations.

Recently, out of the blue, Lee called for pardoning imprisoned former presidents of South Korea, Park Geun-hye and Lee Myong-bak. This proposal has thrown the democratic party into disarray. As if it weren't enough, after more than a year long prosecution of the former justice minister, Cho Guk, and his wife, attempts to curb the prosecutorial abuse and misconduct of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol are being resisted within and without government, and the current Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae has submitted an offer to resign to President Moon Jae-in. What all this means is that Moon Jae-in's central agenda to reform the criminal justice system, particularly the prosecution offices, to end the continuing corruption and abuse by the "republic of lawyers" appears to be going off the rails.

Lee's unexpected and untimely proposal of pardons for the two corrupt former presidents on the right, is associated with support for his run at the presidency at a 15 percent percent level, according to a poll this week. There is no benefit whatever to President Moon's office or his policies in presenting such a divisive issue now. It's a betrayal of the principles of Moon Jae-in's political career and the aspirations and sacrifices of his democratic party supporters, past and present.

It is likely that Lee like other potential presidential hopefuls has been targeted by Prosecutor Yoon's "division" in prosecution offices. Since October, one of Lee's close aides was under investigation for allegedly receiving an unreported contribution in violation of campaign finance laws in the form of use of a multi-function copier (in kind) from the scandal ridden Optimus Fund. The value involved appears to be less than 3000 dollars total for use over a period from February to May 2020. The case allegedly was referred by the Seoul Election Management Commission for investigation by prosecutors. In early December, when Lee's aide took a break from questioning during the investigation for dinner, he apparently commited suicide. The body was found later. According to one critic, Lee has been strangely quiet concerning the investigation and death of his aide. Earlier when questioned about the alleged campaign finance violation, Lee Nak-yon told the press, leaving the borrowed copier contributed by a staff member's "acqaintance" off the financial report was a mistake. Lee's deceased aide had previously been found guilty of a campaign finance law violation committed in 2014. The entire episode has a deju vu quality related to other politically motivated investigations under Yoon's dominion.

The countervailing development was that Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol himself was subject to investigation and discipline for professional and ethical violations by a disciplinary committee appointed by Justice Minister Chu. Although the committee's disciplinary hearing in Yoon's case only resulted in a two month suspension from his duties as Prosecutor General, it was hoped this would mark the beginning of his effective removal from office due to other circumstances discussed in our previous blog posts. Yet, this was not to be the case. Yoon filed for an court injunction to stay the decision, which was granted in another unexpected development, and Yoon is now back in the saddle to continue his investigative and prosecutorial attacks on his political rivals on the democratic side.

It appears as if Yoon may have found Lee Nak-yon's weak point. It's evident that the Optimus scandal was being spun away from the right, and in Lee Nak-yon's direction. Critics on the left of Lee's recent blunder in calling for pardons are fearful of outcomes in the upcoming Seoul and Pusan elections for mayor and want Lee to step down as party representative. It seems incompetent for Lee and a party communications representative to call for a party decision pro or con on the pardon issue. It's untimely, it's the responsibility of the current president rather than the National Assembly or presidential candidates to determine. Additionally, it distracts the party from the major reform efforts before it, pressing current economic and public health issues, and drives a wedge in the party ranks. There is literally nothing to be gained from taking up what is essentially a right wing cause celebre. Lee Myung-jae, the Gyeonggido governor and leading democratic presidential candidate (who recently experienced an unjustified prosecution and trial based upon contrived charges) said it was not appropriate for him to say whether pardons were in order, as it was exclusively a discretionary authority of the sitting president.

Yoo Sang-won, is the democratic candidate for Mayor of Seoul in the upcoming by elections. The current vacancy in the office is the result of another unjustified political investigation started by the prosecutor's office against Mayor Park Won-soon. The recently deceased Mayor was unjustifiably charged with sexual assault and sexual harrassment by his former secretary, who had worked for him for four years. After being notified of the charges under investigation, the Mayor committed suicide.* Mayoral candidate, Yoo Sang-won, currently a National Assembly member said he opposes any consideration of pardons because neither former president has expressed remorse or apologized for their wrongdoing. Secondly, the post trial litigation process in former president Park's case is not final. He said the rule of law must be recognized and carried out, and that he expected the will of the people as demonstrated in the Candlelight Revolution would be reflected in the outcome.

*See: Deceased Mayor Park Won-soon- Trial by Media in South Korea, 9.14.20; https://civilizationdiscontents.blogspot.com/2020/09/deceased-mayor-park-won-soon-trial-by.html


홀스형의 시사건건 (youtube) 1.3.21; 이낙연 긴급최고회의 소집? 혹시 윤석열에게 무슨 약점이라도 잡혔나요?

서울신문, 12.4.20; 이낙연 ‘옵티머스 복합기 의혹’ 측근, 숨진 채 발견 ( 종합2보 ) 신진호 기자; http://m.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20201204500002

Injunction blocks disciplinary action against South Korea's Prosecutor General

A South Korean court has created turmoil on the left by issuing a preliminary injunction against the disciplinary commmittee's judgement that Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, violated his professional duties by improperly investigating judges and failing to the maintain political independence of his office. Other specifications charging his interference in cases where he, his family or subordinates had an interest, and therefore a professional conflict of interest were not addressed by the disciplinary committee. Yoon's petition for a injunction was grounded on a contention that he could not be suspended or removed from office by this disciplinary procedure because the Prosecutor General's office was intended to be independent of outside political interference as a constitutional matter. So it appears that the Prosecutor General's office is now some kind of "fourth branch" of government in Yoon's view. Before the injunction was issued many legal scholars regarded the petition for injunction as unlikely to succeed, particularly because Yoon was only temporarily suspended from office for a short period, two months, and was not barred from reassuming his position as Prosecutor General. Some democratic representatives in the National Assembly and Justice Party representatives are now calling for Yoon's impeachment. Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae, who initiated the disciplinary proceeding, nominally Yoon's superior, is also calling for his impeachment.

(Image Source- 열린공감TV) Chu Mi-ae Justice Minister of South Korea (left) and Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, her insubordinate subordinate.

Some of the ruling Democratic Party in the National Assembly (174 seats) are calling for the impeachment of Yoon Seok-yeol. Democratic Party leaders however are calling for adherence to the legislative plan to reform the criminal justice process and the offices of prosecutors and judges by implementing the Public Office Corruption Committee, and the separation of investigative and prosecution decisions in law enforcement. The fear is that judges would not confirm a bill of impeachment and that the democratic administration would end in a fiasco. The leaders also wish to stay focused on the worsening pandemic situation in South Korea.

Chu Mi-ae, the Justice Minister. tendered an offer to resign to President Moon Jae-in when the weak two month suspension decision against Yoon for professional misconduct came down from the disciplinary committee. Clearly, the administration was anticipating a stronger disposition such as dismissal from office. The disciplinary committee's determination suggests a compromise verdict acknowledging Yoon's professional misconduct but unwilling to take on the so called "cartel of special interests" dominating the prosecutorial and judicial branches. The committee left it to the courts to take on the so called "Yoon division," within prosecution offices, along with the media and chaebol interests on the right, supporting Yoon. Consequently, Yoon has returned to work and will continue his attack on the democratic administration by implementing new politically motivated investigations and prosecutions in the hope of toppling Moon Jae-in from power, and tarnishing any significant rival potentially running against Yoon during the next presidential election.




Dec. 16: Some clarification from an SBS report on the "four out of six" specifications or charges against Yoon found to be supported by the disciplinary committee are portrayed in this graphic:

Four specifications were found to be substantiated by the disciplinary committeee. The first substantiated charge deals with the creation and distribution of results of unwarranted investigation into judges in the Justice Department. Two other specifications dealt with the so called Channel A News incident, in which a reporter for Channel A, Lee Dong-jae, corresponded with a defendant in jail for financial crimes and threatened the defendant or otherwise improperly attempted to induce him either directly or through his agent mulitple times to commit perjury to incriminate Yoo Shi-min, a well known liberal media pundit and director from the No Mu-hyun foundation. It is alleged that the Yoon's close subordinate Han Dong-hun coordinated these unlawful activities with the Channel A reporter. Subsequently, Lee and Han were placed under investigation. The two specifications charged that Yoon interfered with prosecutors investigating the Channel A incident, and interfered with the investigation itself. The fourth charge found to be supported by the committee was that Yoon harmed the political independence of the prosecutors office.

Two specifications of misconduct of the six were not found by the court. The findings appear not to have been addressed rather than a finding of no misconduct. Number five alleged improper meeting with owners of the media (subject to investigation or litigation at the time). Number six involved interference with prosecutors investigating his own conduct.

South Korea: Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol suspended for 2 months by Discipline Committee

Yoon Seok-yeol, Prosecutor General of South Korea. Yoon is the current leading contender on the right to be a candidate for president of South Korea.

Yoon Seok-yeol was suspended for two months by a Disciplinary Committee appointed by the Ministry of Justice after a hearing of two days. Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae referred six allegations of professional misconduct to the committee for disposition. The committee found grounds to support four of six charges of misconduct against South Korea's top prosecutor. Some of these six allegations pertained to his earlier service as the Chief of the Seoul Central District Branch Office. The decision to discipline Yoon, the sitting Prosecutor General of South Korea was described as "unprecedented" by YTN news in their brief news bulletin and video. Which of the six charges of misconduct were recognized by the committee was unclear.

Both before and after each of the two days of hearings at which testimony was adduced, Yoon's attorney's moved to cancel the hearing based on a contention that the committee's authority over the prosecutor general was unfounded and unconstitutional. Additionally Yoon asserted in one motion that the hearing officials all had conflicts of interest. According to one report, discussions with Yoon's representatives resulted in three officials being replaced by alternate committee members. A renewed motion on the second day of hearings, was summarily dismissed. Yoon doesn't recognize the committee's standing or decision and intends to challenge the determination in court. The Ministry of Justice indicated that the decision will be forwarded to the Blue House for approval or denial as soon as possible. News accounts concerning the committee hearing process indicated that President Moon's office would or could not modify the decision but only approve or disapprove it.

It's fair to say that democratic and progressive elements in South Korea are disappointed by the decision having looked forward to Yoon's dismissal from office and perhaps other administrative sanctions. Reportedly, there were lengthy deliberations among the board members keeping them up virtually all night until the decision was announced at approximately four am, Seoul time. It does have the appearance of what we in the US call a "compromise verdict." As an administrative disciplinary board, it is likely that some members did not feel comfortable treating Yoon Seok-yeol's transgressions in more decisive fashion. Yoon is currently considered the leading conservative candidate for the next presidential election in South Korea in 2022. An outright dismissal from office would have rocked the South Korean political world. The equivocal nature of the decision ensures the ongoing political controversies and legal maneuvers, concerning alleged criminal acts by Yoon, his wife, and mother in law will continue. Yoon's critics will point to the anticipated opening of the Public Official Corruption Committee which is a new body appointed by the 20th Session of the National Assembly. This body has the authority to hear criminal corruption cases referred for criminal prosecution. Yoon's critics want his case to be the first case heard by the new body. Critics also call for his impeachment by the National Assembly.

Incidentally, the National Assembly introduced a proposed election law requiring prosecutors and judges who wished to run for electoral office to leave their office at least one year before registering as a candidate. This law if enacted would require Yoon to resign in March 2021 in any case if he wishes to run for office.

Doctors Strike in South Korea During Pandemic

(Source- 열린공감TV youtube, 8.31) 터졌다! 의사 파업 진짜 이유! 돈 받아먹었다! Disclosed, the real reason for the strike! We took the money.<br />

The current strike by medical residents and doctors in South Korea during the resurgence of the corona virus epidemic statewide is the latest in bizarre opposition tactics by the far right in South Korea. The true nature of the strike and the reasons for it are misrepresented in conservative media in South Korea and the US. Articles such as the one below by Reuters fail to include the history or political context of this otherwise implausible strike and the unreasonable refusal of leaders of Korean medical organizations to suspend the strike during negotiations with the government:

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea ordered doctors in the Seoul area to return to work on Wednesday as they began a three-day strike in protest of several government proposals, including one to boost the number of doctors to deal with health crises like the coronavirus...

...The strikes come as South Korea battles one of its worst outbreaks of the coronavirus, with 320 new cases reported in the 24 hours to midnight Tuesday, the latest in more than a week and a half of triple-digit increases.

The walkouts on Wednesday forced South Korea’s five major general hospitals to limit their hours and delay scheduled surgeries, Yonhap news agency reported.*

*South Korea orders striking doctors back to work amid surge in coronavirus cases: Sangmi Cha, Josh Smith, August 25;

There are obviously stressful conditions on residents and other doctors working in clinics and hospitals throughout South Korea as a resurgence in corona virus infections prompted largely by deliberately non-compliant churches, in particular the so called Love First Church led by far right demagogue, Jeon Gwang-hun. Government indemnity claims against Jeon now total 20 billion won for costs of patient treatment and public health measures. However, the stated grievances for the medical strike adversely affecting medical services in South Korea now, particularly at larger hospitals, are largely opportunistic and pretextual. The health reforms proposed to be implemented by the Moon Jae-in administration have been in the works since medical studies on the deficiencies in the national health system began in 2013. Studies by the Seoul National University medical school, in 2013 and 2015 during the conservative Park Geun-hye administration recommended virtually the same policy measures the Moon administration now proposes to implement.

(Source- 열린공감TV youtube, 8.31) "Because doctor's livelihoods are being made impossible..."

The measures from the current administration aim at creation of a state medical college and a substantial expansion in the number of medical school graduates by four thousand doctors over a ten year period. The expansion in the number of doctors is directed at alleviating a serious shortage of health care providers in the countryside as opposed to large cities. Medical students attending the state medical training program would be required to provide medical services in the countryside for ten years. It is said that newly licensed doctors have no desire to move to more rural venues to provide health care because of the lack of "career development." Critics of the medical strike by residents and doctors in South Korea during the resurgence of the corona virus say the providers are acting as a special interest just "protecting their rice bowl." However the timing of the strike in current public health emergency circumstances in the face of a resurgence of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is extremely suspect. The real goal is a cynical political desire to bring down the Moon administration by allowing the current resurgence in the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic to spread across South Korea.

The strike is being carried out as a political vendetta against the reform minded democratic administration of Moon Jae-in. According to one investigative news source, a substantial number of senior physicians, and university medical doctors responsible for the education and training of the residents, and other providers have been under investigation by the police, for violations of anti corruption laws which prohibit receiving gifts, rebates, or other unlawful compensation from drug companies aimed at promoting sales by illegal means. The scope of the investigation is large, and has already found tens of millions of dollars in unlawful compensation, rebates, gifts and other favors from pharmaceutical companies paid to medical providers since 2016.

(Source: Media:gate News, 3.23.18) Choe Tae-jib, the current President of the Korean Medical Association, conservative activist linked to the far right Taeguki movement in the past. Choi once said he would risk imprisonment to bring down "Moon Jae-in care." The Korean Medical Association and the Association of Medical Residents left the table and went back on strike, despite achieving an agreement in which proposed measures would be suspended and subject to further negotiations until the current pandemic outbreak abated and public health conditions stabilized.

Among the prohibited practices are pharmaceutical companies paying physicians' medical study abroad; attendance at conferences abroad with all expenses paid; cash rebates; paying active hospital providers and clinicians to represent the companies abroad; golf tourneys, expensive dinners, etc. Hospital administrators, pharmacists, drug company salesman, drug wholesalers, and importers, are also subject to the "Sunshine Act." Potential criminal penalties are two years in prison, a 30 million won fine, and one year suspension of medical license. The proceeds of corrupt rebates and other illegal compensation from drug companies can also be seized by the government. Apart from encouraging this strike, targeted providers have procured high priced legal representation to stall the investigations as long as possible either to exceed the statute of limitations or wait until the current administration is replaced in 2022. If a right wing administration came to power these cases would likely disappear. It is anticipated that a resurgence of the epidemic in South Korea would have an adverse affect on the fortunes of the incumbent democratic party.

So the current government is labeled as "fascist" by the medical community because of pending police investigation into their widespread corruption. Apparently the Korean Medical Association views extensive record keeping requirments and investigations to eliminate medical corruption as "totalitarian." Beyond that, promoting a public medical university education to produce additional doctors with a view toward terms of service in the countryside is regarded as "communism."

(Source- 열린공감TV youtube, 8.31) So the citizens are unaware of the matter (at hand), the professionals cover it up. Picture shows Korean Medical Association President, Choe Thae-jib smashing his head on the podium in the negotiation conference room.

Senior doctors are not openly encouraging the strike, but their organization left the negotiating table saying the government "couldn't be trusted." Choe Tae-jib, ( 최대집 ) the President of the Korean Medical Association, said when he was running for that office that he would do everything he could including the most extreme tactics like a general strike, no matter what the sacrifices were to bring down "Moon Jae-in care." In other words his admitted objective is to destroy the current health care system in South Korea, which had been so successful until just recently in protecting public health in South Korea. Choe Tae-jib, has a known right wing resume, having supported the far right Taeguki movement and being active in other conservative movements for years.*

* 의협회장 당선자 최대집은 누구…"문재인 케어 저지, 민노총 수준 강한 투쟁" Medi:Gate News, 8.03.23 20:11최종 업데이트 18.03.24 09:45;

Much like the scholar strikes and demonstrations outside the palace gates, which would immobilize the old Chosun dynasty in contentious times, there are always actors behind the scenes motivating their subordinates to carry out the actions to paralyze the government. Poisoning the well is an old Korean political strategy sure to serve as an evil omen to spread public fear and weaken, if not overthrow the presiding ruler. After the intentional infliction of the second wave of corona virus epidemic on South Korea by right wing fundamentalist demagogues intentionally violating public health rules, the general medical strike is the follow up punch choreographed by the right wing medical doctors and their sponsors unwilling to submit to the rule of law under a freely elected democratic government.

Seoul - Unlawful far right demonstrations expected on Independence Day August 15

(Source- 뉴스반장 Aug. 14 ) Political banner in Gyeongnamdo. Taegukki (South Korean Flag) assembly in Seoul, August 15. Remove the left wing dictatorship of Moon Jae-in. Advertisements for the demonstration were also carried in the conservative Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

South Korea's celebration of Independence Day from Japan (August 15, 1945) will likely be marred by unlawful demonstrations in central Seoul. The groups planning the demonstrations in the midst of public health decrees barring large assemblies will meet in the usual venues. Taegukki group members will assemble in front of the old National Bank building. The more numerous far right evangelicals will march on Gwanghwamoon, not too far from the US embassy. Other authoritarian elements will meet at the Syngmun Rhee Plaza. There is some talk among the more extremist elements of marching on the Blue House, which, if it occurs, will almost certainly result in arrests and possibly violence.

(Source- 뉴스반장 Aug. 14 ) Pastor Jeon Gwang-hun, (left) leader of the controversial right wing evangelical Christian Council of Korea. Last January Jeon was found guilty of ten charges of violation of public election laws involving illegal fund raising. He was released on bail April 20 pending rehearings on appeal. One of the conditions of bail is that he not attend political assemblies. Given his lawyer's arguments in court, he may not comply with that condition.

The religious elements, which have been led by "pastor" Jeon Gwang-hun in the past, will hide behind their claim that the health ban on large assemblies is a violation of their religious freedom. This time, they seem to be avoiding overt political threats of overthrow of the democratic Moon Jae-in administration, yet there is an implied physical threat in the willful violation of the emergency health measures declared to protect the public health. Public health experts anticipate that the demonstrations will result in new clusters of covid-19. Typically, once at the demonstration, Jeon and the other evangelicals use political speech similar to the more radical Taegukki paramilitary types.

(Source- 뉴스반장 Aug. 14 ) Typical right wing social media post advertising the unlawful assembly in Seoul. "Independence Day Assembly at Gwanghwamun on August 15. Expel the administration of Moon Jae-in. United we will live, dispersed we will die."

The same cannot be said for the extremist Taegukki group, which explicitly calls for the "dictatorship of leftist President Moon Jae-in" to be driven out along with claims that the overwhelming victory of the democratic party candidates in the April 15 general election to the National Assembly were the result of election fraud and the democratic government is illegitimate. There is simply no evidence of this.

Police sources are advising the public to stay home to protect against the spread of covid-19 and making it clear that large public assemblies in Seoul are illegal. Organizers and group leaders arriving in Seoul to carry out large demonstrations will be arrested. Members of such groups are also warned that they may be subject to criminal charges as well. According to the source cited for the photographs here, so far the police have apparently not decided to deploy water cannons and tier gas.

The plans for public assembly are a direct challenge to democratic rule in South Korea. This is the latest of an escalating series of miscalculations by the right designed to destabilize the Moon administration and the now filibuster proof democratic majority in the National Assembly. The gatherings in Seoul will be a direct challenge to the public health ban on large assemblies in public venues in Seoul since the former mayor of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon dispersed the right wing demonstrations earlier this year. The objective of the renewed demonstrations is to bring down the most democratic government South Korea has ever had.

South Korea: Press- Prosecution collusion affair- the cast

Lee Seong-ryun, Chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Branch, Seoul, regarded as the "restraint" on Yoon Seok-yeol. Ultimately, Lee could be a candidate for Prosecutor General, the top position now currently held by Yoon Seok-yeol when the latter's term ends. Lee may be indispensable to the independence of the current investigation into alleged press-prosecution collusion. Investigation of the immediate case of the Channel A News scandal centered around Lee Dong-jae and former Senior Prosecutor Han Dong-hun is the focus of a struggle for control of prosecutorial powers.

Ultimately, the Justice Ministry is seeking to break the effective monopoly held by Yoon Seok-yeol. The political situation affecting Chief Prosecutor Lee's struggle against Yoon and the conservative cadre of attorneys in the so called group of experts is complex. A desire to maintain an independent investigation of suspected press-prosecution collusion by the Central District Branch may be holding up Justice Ministry announcements concerning 11 high level prosecutor appointments throughout South Korea that were expected last week. Those appointments by Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae are expected to further attenuate the power of Yoon's "division ( 사단 )."

The above is a graphic of the original report by MBC News of the relationship among Lee Chol, former VIK representative in prison on financial charges; the "informant" an associate of Lee Chol; and (unidentified at the time) former Channel A News reporter Lee Dong-jae. Reporter Lee sent Lee Chol four letters in prison inquiring into the financial consideration he provided to Yoo Shi-min, an influential pundit, foundation director, and former minister. Lee then met three times with the anonymous informant who acted as Lee Chol's proxy allegedly to see what Lee Chol could get for offering false testimony in an investigation against Yoo Shi-min. The informant reported exclusively to MBC that former Channel A News reporter Lee had shared recorded audio of a conversation with prosecutor Han Dong-hun to show he was acting with the backing of a prosecutor with close ties at the highest level.

Yoo Shi-min appears in the white jacket in this graphic referring to the MBC exclusive report. According to the anonymous informer, Lee Dong-jae persistently made demands to take down Yoo Shi-min. Allegedly he said, "Yoo was the face of a monster." Yoo Shi-min as the director of the No Moo-hyun foundation is a well known and outspoken pundit of the democratic left who appears regularly in South Korean media. (No Moo-hyun was the late liberal president of South Korea). Yoo was the Health and Welfare Minister in the administration of former President No Moo-hyun.

Yoon Seok-yeol, current Prosecutor General of South Korea. Yoon is the current leading contender on the right to be a candidate for president of South Korea. He polls only at 13.8 percent. Lee Nak-yon, the leading democratic party contender polls at 25.6 percent. Yoon is allegedly responsible for carrying out a series of politically motivated prosecutions, in particular the cases against Yoo Shi-min, former minister Cho-Guk, and Kyeongkido governor Lee Jae-myeong. Lee Jae-myeong was acquitted recently of rather bizarre charges revolving around involuntary commitment proceedings against his brother. Lee was accused of abusing his official position, and impersonating a law officer. Lee Jae-myeong is now ahead of Yoon in presidential preference pools at about 19.6 percent. Had Governor Lee been convicted he would be disqualified from running for or holding political office.

The improper investigation of Yoo Shi-min was allegedly carried out by Yoon's right hand man, former Senior Prosecutor Han Dong-hun. The prosecution of former Justice Minister Cho Guk, and his wife, as well as Governor Lee and Director Yoo, were intended to affect the outcome of the April 15 elections by branding leading democratic figures as criminals and hypocrites. Former Justice Minister Cho was also the lead advocate for the so called fast track prosecutorial reforms. Cho has been pursuing litigation against multiple reporters from mainstream media and the internet who have libeled his wife, and daughter, and has obtained some sizable judgements. His prosecution is still pending but his wife was found innocent recently of several charges. The cases appear to be faltering.

Last week Yoon's panel of experts reviewing evidence collected before the investigation of the Channel A News case was complete recommended ending the investigation and resolving the matter against Prosecutor Han Dong-hun with a no indictment disposition. The recommendation is little more than a public relations effort to be exploited by the conservative media supporting Yoon. Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae had removed the Prosecutor General's supervisory role over the investigation and disposition of the case because of an apparent conflict of interest.

Yoon is also suspected of burying criminal investigations into leading conservatives, including Na Kyung-won and Hwang Kyo-ahn and right wing national assembly members who conducted themselves unlawfully last spring in futile attempts to obstruct passage of the so called fast track prosecutorial reform measures by National Assembly. Yoon and the right in general view the democratic administration's attempts to interfere with his unfettered discretion on who gets prosecuted and who doesn't, as despotism dressed in democratic clothes.

Senior Prosecutor Han Dong-hun (on left) vs. Chief Criminal Investigation, team 1, Jung Jin-oong (right). War by proxies? Han suspected of colluding with former Channel A reporter Lee Dong-jae, was served with a warrant last week by a the lower ranking prosecutor who works for Lee Seong-ryun, the Chief Prosecutor of the Seoul Central District Branch Prosecutor's office. Han resisted Jung's attempt to seize his hand phone and a physical confrontation ensued. Jung went to the hospital later allegedly for injuries sustained in the altercation. Han is regarded as someone quite close to Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, and as his proxy. Jung is regarded as the proxy for Chief Prosecutor Lee Seong-ryun.

Observers regard the conflicting stories of Han and Jung as to how the altercation ensured as an embarrassment to prosecutors in general. Han is obviously trying to portray himself as the victim, and at the same time create legal grounds to block the admissibility of any evidence obtained from the audio files on the sim chip from his phone. Han claims Jung committed a battery without cause. Han's account is widely portrayed in the conventional conservative South Korean media, and also on social media by conservative "akpullers" ( 악플러 ) or trolls as they are known in the west. A drawing in Cho-sun Ilbo of the alleged assault on Han by Jung was indicative of how partial the owners of that media network are to Yoon.

In the above picture, Lee Dong-jae, the former Channel A News reporter suspected of attempting to create false testimony against Yoo Shi-min. He is at the center of litigation in the Channel A News case. He is committed to pre-trial confinement after being ruled a potential threat to investigation of evidence by the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office, investigation team number one. Last week a Seoul court ruled that a search warrant for his hand phones and notebook was executed improperly. Here Yoo Shi-min is quoted in a MBC News interview saying it would be best legally if Lee Dong-jae disclosed all he knows related to suspected press-prosecution collusion.
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