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Fri Aug 14, 2020, 05:47 PM

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.

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