중앙데일리

Uri lawmakers challenge top court on security law

Sept 03,2004
Lawmakers from the progressive wing of the Uri Party expressed anger and frustration yesterday over a Supreme Court decision this week backing the country’s stringent anti-communist National Security Law.
“The ruling showed there still are old and reactionary forces in the nation that should be removed,” Uri Party Assemblyman Kim Won-wung said yesterday in a direct attack on the highest court. “I believe those who make such rulings are only basking in their vested interests and never agonized over the reality of Korea as a member of a divided country.”
In support of Mr. Kim, Representative Woo Won-shik said, “The Supreme Court seems to think there is growing support for North Korea, and that's a mistaken view.”
On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected appeals from two student activists of Hanchongryun, a leftist university student group, who were convicted under the security law for publicly praising North Korea.
The justices said, “Just because there are exchanges and cooperation between the two Koreas, the Supreme Court cannot see that North Korea’s anti-state character has disappeared and that the National Security Law has lost its legal power. Under those conditions, we must be careful not to disarm ourselves.”
Other moderate Uri lawmakers took a more cautious line yesterday. “The ruling was controversial,” said Representative Yoo Jay-kun. “But in general, I think it was a positive ruling.”
The Uri Party is divided over the security law issue, with some legislators in favor of abolishing it and others seeking revisions.
Sources in the party said yesterday those who support abolition outnumber those who want revision only.
The conservative Grand National Party praised the court’s stance yesterday and criticized the Uri lawmakers who criticized the judgment.
“Not only politicians but also civic groups should adhere to the judgment of the judiciary,” said Kim Deog-ryong, the party’s floor leader, yesterday.


by Shin Yonh-ho, Min Seong-jae


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