source : http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0014311775&code=61111111&sid1=eve
published 2020-03-03 16:50
The ruling party of South Korea (the Democratic Party) has been attacking Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji) even more harshly. At the open discussion of the Democratic Party, the party began to strike Shincheonji, raising the question of whether Shincheonji had a back-scratching relationship with the opposition party. However, some people pointed out that the ruling party is just focusing on Shincheonji, which is widely blamed for a pandemic, to avoid the party’s responsibility for the spread of COVID-19, which has not been contained.
On March 3rd, the Democratic Party highly criticized the press conference of Mr. Man Hee Lee – the head of Shincehonji. Mr. In Young Lee, the head of the party commented, “All the people of Korea watched what Mr. Man Hee Lee said yesterday. Shincheonji is still trying to avoid its responsibility while more than 4,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.” He urged the authorities to take firm action without hesitation, stressing “The authorities should be aware of the fact that Koreans have exploded with rage. Eight out of ten Koreans agree with a search and seizure of Shincheonji.”
Mentioning the possible relationship between Shincheonji and the opposition party, Mr. Jeong Sik Jo – the head of the policy planning committee – stated, “There needs to be a clear statement about Shincheonji possibly having a close relationship with a certain party, which many Koreans are suspicious is the case. I want to make it clear that this shouldn’t be overlooked.” He was referring to the suspicion that was raised because Mr. Lee was wearing a watch with the signature of South Korea’s former President Park Guen Hye at the press conference. He added, “If Shincheonji is not cooperative, the authorities should promptly take action with legal force.”
While the leaders of the Democratic Party have raised their voice to urge the authorities to have a compulsory investigation against Shincheonji, the leaders of the local government from the Democratic Party went their own direction to strengthen their presence. At the radio show, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon who accused Mr. Lee of murder denied a claim saying that this was just some kind of show. He stated that only those who are laid-back might say something like that. In addition, he insisted, “As this virus is highly contagious, Shincheonji is at least willfully negligent.” According to the criminal law, Shincheonji can be accused of murder and personal injury. At another radio show, Mr. Jae Jeong Lee – the spokesperson of the Democratic Party – stated that Mayor Park’s message showed how significant and urgent the situation was.
Furthermore, Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae Myung made a scene when he chased after Mr. Lee, the leader of Shincheonji, at night. In order to capture Mr. Lee who he claimed had refused to take the COVID-19 test, Governor Lee headed to Mr. Lee’s mansion in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, with staff from the health center, fire station, and police department. Before Governor Lee reached the mansion, Mr. Lee left his place and took the COVID-19 test at the health center in Gwacheon where Shincheonji’s Headquarter is located. A lawyer named Kwon Gyeong Ae of the Lawyers for a Democratic Society criticized this case, stating that terrifying political behaviors were rife while the nation was going through a pandemic disaster.
Some experts have passed judgement on the fact that the ruling party attacking Shincheonji was more like shifting responsibility onto Shincheonji. They agreed that the Korean government needs to admit that there were holes in the preventive networks and take some responsibility. The director of Insight K commented, “The most important things right now are the prevention and treatment. The ruling party keeps mentioning Shincheonji as its strategy.” He was concerned that it might lead to the government avoiding responsibility just like what happened during the Sewol ferry disaster, where the government focused on criticizing the Korean religious movement called the Salvation sect.
Professor Kim Hyeong Jun evaluated this situation, stating, “The ruling party was anxious about this pandemic, especially before the general election. It was similar to the Sewol ferry disaster when the government blamed Chairman Yoo Byung Eun, the leader of the Salvation sect.” Professor Kim added “Shincheonji holds some responsibility but the government also has the responsibility of preventing the pandemic among Shincheonji at an earlier stage.”
Reporters, Lee Ga Hyeon and Park Jae Hyeon. email@example.com
source : 국민일보, http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0014311775&code=61111111&sid1=eve
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