Teachers charged under national security law
Although individual teachers in the left-leaning union have been arrested before, this is the first time a group has been charged with a crime.
The group includes a 52-year-old female surnamed Park who held a high-ranking position in the union.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday the four teachers formed a group called the Education Movement for a New Era in January 2008. The group gave pro-Pyongyang lectures to people preparing to work as public school teachers and members of the Korean Government Employees’ Union on two occasions.
Prosecutors said before 2008 the four teachers organized events to teach students about North Korea’s self-reliance national ideology, or juche, why U.S. forces should be withdrawn from Korea and why the National Security law, which they are now charged with breaking, should be abolished.
One student who participated in one of those events in 2005 told an online media outlet, “I learned the U.S. army is bad. And now I empathize with a song that I learned [during the program] that calls for killing American soldiers,” according to prosecutors.
The prosecutors said the teacher named Park visited North Korea 26 times.
By Kang Jin-kyu [firstname.lastname@example.org]