After evaluating the first year of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration, the PSPD claims that it has been “a year of negligence and regression against democracy. The PSPD has conducted a thorough evaluation and prepared a report highlighting 14 harmful cases of regression under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration. As a result, PSPD has identified 8 government officials who should be replaced due to their involvement in these setbacks. In addition, the PSPD conducted an online poll in which 5,000 citizens voted to select the top 5 officials they felt should be replaced.
On May 10, the first anniversary of the Yoon administration, a press conference was held in front of the Yongsan Presidential Office to denounce President Yoon and the chief of state for their role in the backsliding and to demand the replacement of officials who should be held accountable. The PSPD also announced the results of the “Top 5 officials to be replaced. The three officials who received the most votes are as follows
Han Dong-hoon, Minister of Justice, who restored and expanded the prosecution’s powers.
Kim Tae-hyo, 1st Vice Minister of National Security, who is responsible for the diplomatic disaster.
Lee Sang-min, Minister of Public Administration and Security, who is responsible for the Itaewon disaster.
President Yoon must ultimately take responsibility for this abysmal report card on the year of catastrophic regression. Replacing the officials in question would be the first step for President Yoon to listen to the voices of the citizens truly.
Arms Exports to Myanmar Which Is Killing Civilians?
On May 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited Myanmar’s ambassador to Korea, Thant Sin, to an event to promote arms exports, where he boarded the K-2 tank. The invitation itself contradicts the Korean government’s diplomatic stance on the military coup in Myanmar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tried to justify the event by saying that it was held for all ASEAN member states and embassies, implying that the invitation had nothing to do with the Korean government’s diplomatic policy.
However, the event focused on arms exports and can be seen as a form of defense exchange and cooperation. Inviting Mr. Thant Sin, who represents Myanmar’s military government, cannot be justified. In response to this incident, the Korean Civil Society in Support of Democracy in Myanmar (106 organizations nationwide, including PSPD) issued a statement on May 12. In addition, KCSSDM held a press conference on May 18 to condemn these actions. After the press conference, the KCSSDM sent a letter from the National Unity Government of Myanmar expressing deep sorrow and regret over the incident. It is now crucial for the Korean government to clearly state its stance on the “ban on arms to Myanmar” and ensure that such mishaps do not occur again.
Call for “Freedom” but “No” to Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration
Recently, the Yoon government and the ruling party have made yet another worrying attempt against the freedom of assembly. This comes on the heels of Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun’s controversial policy to ban rallies that resemble “illegal” construction rallies. Now, the government has announced a policy to restrict night rallies and limit protests by groups with a history of illegal demonstrations.
However, it is worth noting that the Constitutional Court declared the ban on night rallies unconstitutional 15 years ago. Furthermore, banning a rally based on a group’s history of illegal rallies is tantamount to implementing a permit system, which is prohibited by the Constitution. This raises the question of whether the government is overstepping its bounds and attempting to ignore constitutional rights.
Whose “freedom” is President Seok-Yeol Yoon talking about? The PSPD remains steadfast in its commitment to uphold the freedom of assembly and demonstration. We will continue our efforts to protect these fundamental rights and ensure that the government respects the Constitution.
Report on Yoon Administration and Prosecutors 2023: The Nation of Prosecutors, Year One
Since 2008, the PSPD has monitored the prosecution’s abuse of authority on an annual basis and issued a report to document and evaluate investigations of social significance. Following recent changes in the judicial system, such as the creation of the Corruption Investigation Office (CIO) and reforms to the investigative powers of prosecutors, we have expanded the scope of our subject groups to include investigative bodies other than prosecutors.
This year’s report highlights the problematic realities within the prosecution during the first year of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration and underscores the crucial importance of citizen monitoring. The production of these prosecution reports relies on donations and support from citizens and is then distributed to prosecutors nationwide.
Special Law for Rental Fraud Only Gives Only Half the Solution
Another victim of rental fraud has tragically passed away. However, the special law passed during the plenary session of the National Assembly on May 25th is only a partial solution that cannot fully alleviate the suffering of these victims. Rental fraud continues. There are many tenants whose leases have not yet expired and who may become victims of rental fraud when housing prices begin to decline in the first half of next year.
PSPD remains committed to supporting victims throughout this ordeal and to advocating for additional legislation and policy improvements until this social problem is effectively resolved. We are determined to stand by the victims until the end.
Local Member Day nationwide
Every year, PSPD organizes a “Local Members’ Day” after the regular General Assembly. This year, at the end of April, we gathered a total of 45 members from four major cities: Busan, Gyeongnam, Daegu, Gyeongbuk, Gwangju, Jeonnam, Daejeon, and Chungcheong. During this year’s local member meeting day, we presented a plan for 2023 activities. In addition, we discussed electoral system reform and political reform as the upcoming general election approaches. The electoral system reform was a complex issue, which led to different opinions and a lively discussion among the members. This intense discussion continued during the after-party, where different viewpoints among PSPD members were expressed.
The Local Members’ Day serves as an opportunity for members who don’t often interact with the PSPD to come together. It also strengthens the resolve of activists and professionals. We would like to express our gratitude to the hardworking members who have shown their support. Because of your dedication, we believe that we will be able to make an active contribution this year without any reservations. Thank you, members.
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