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S. Korean Supreme Court Declares Executed Party Leader Not Guilty

Smash Seoul Smash G20 | 24.01.2011 21:34 | Repression | Social Struggles | World

The south Korean supreme court declared Jo Pong Am, former head of the Progressive Party in south Korea, not guilty in a retrial on Jan. 20, according to south Korean MBC.

He was punished with death on the false charge of "rebellion and spying" 52 years ago.
The retrial proved the illegal investigation of him conducted by the army secret service agency which had no right to inquiry at that time.
The then dictator Syngman Rhee, much upset by the growing public support for him who stood for peaceful reunification, executed him as a "spy" in July, 1959.

On a separate note-

Civic and social bodies and political parties of south Korea held a ceremony in Seoul on Jan. 17 to declare a week of mourning those Ryongsan evacuees killed by the police indiscriminate crackdown.
They included the Korean Confederation of Trade Union, the Society for the Human Rights Movement, the Committee for Probing the Truth about the Ryongsan Tragedy, the Union of Evacuees and the Democratic Labor Party.
The speakers there said that although it is two years since the occurrence of the tragedy, the truth about the mass-killing is not yet probed and the evacuees are still undergoing pain behind bars for the mere reason that they struggled in demand of their vital rights.
Recalling that people in Ryongsan are forcibly evacuated due to the reckless redevelopment policy of the authorities and they are left without any shelter, they declared that this bespeaks that the second Ryongsan tragedy may take place.
They called on the people of various circles to get united to settle the issue of the Ryongsan tragedy and launch dynamic actions to force the authorities to roll back their redevelopment policy.
Earlier, the all-people committee for memorial service for the victims of the Ryongsan tragedy was formed. It groups 106 political parties and organizations and individual personages.

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Rev. Han Sang Ryol Sentenced to Prison Term in S. Korea

25.01.2011 10:29

The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Rev. Han Sang Ryol to five years in prison and five-year suspension of qualifications on Jan. 21, according to Yonhap News of south Korea.
The south Korean authorities arrested him as soon as he crossed Panmunjom at north-south borderline after visiting the DPRK last year. They persecuted him long and at last sentenced him to severe punishment.
The court also sentenced Co-representative Han Chung Mok and several members of the Solidarity for Progress to prison term and other punishment on charges of waging anti-U.S. actions.

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South Korea social evils

27.01.2011 11:41

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South Korea Ailing with Social Evils

Increasing the poor bracket

In south Korean society misruled by the anti-people policy of the conservative regime, the number of the poor is increasing day after day.
Even according to an official announcement of the puppet regime the number of the poor households was 3,058,000, which holds nearly 20% of all the households and includes 7 million people.

According to a material 63% of the poor households are completely unemployed, and 14% of them are living on a shoestring as day-laborers and the rest are eking out a bare existence though they have certain jobs.
The conservative group has enforced the policy in favor of conglomerates and the rich only in disregard of the livelihood of the majority of the working people, so that the living standards gap between the rich and the poor extremely widened.
A large number of the medium-sized businesses and small merchants went into bankruptcy en masse so 134,725 households became the poor in 2009 alone.
In 2010, too, 30,000 ~ 70,000 independent businessmen went bankrupt every month. Therefore a growing number of the people face harsher living conditions, increasing the poor racket.

Poor public health

Since the conservative regime has been pursuing the “commercialization of the public health sector” after taking power, 82% hospitals flocked to big cities with high profit, further deteriorating the health condition in local areas. In particular, 43 counties are not equipped with emergency sections in hospitals, so that the inhabitants fail to receive any simple first-aid treatment.
Besides, 58% of all hospitals are treating the foreigners in the main for the sake of more fees, so that a few ones are available for the ordinaries.
In 2010, the outpatient fees increased by 7.2%, inpatient fees by 8.5%, tooth treatment fees by 10.6% compared with that in 2008, and the charges for appendix removal surgery skyrocketed to US$ 3,000, for abdominal cavity surgery to US$ 6,000 and for marrow transplantation surgery to US$ 170,000.

For the exorbitant prices of cold remedy and other common medicines 12 ~ 20% of all households are unable to go to hospital.

Miserable state of young people

The growing number of the young unemployed becomes a severe social problem.
The young unemployed number 764,000 in 2008, 905,000 in 2009 and 1,160,000 in the first half of 2010 making the unemployment rate of the young people a double that of the average.
6 of 10 university graduates, in particular, postpone their graduation to be undergraduate or withdraw from learning for the absence of jobs. Therefore, colleges and universities are called a nursery of the unemployed.

At present the portion of the young people working in big businesses and public sectors is very low at 20% and 10% respectively, and 50% of the 20s and 38% of the 30s are casual workers whose salary is no more than 54.7% of the full employed.

Young people and students who work in assorted chores for living expenses are 48% and 38.2%, the students absent from universities for failing to secure tuition fees are 26.9% and the students who owe debt for tuition fees are no less than 50.9%.
Among the suicides during the last 3 years the number increased by 35% in the 20s and 20.3% in the 30s every year.

Rampant crimes

Drug crimes are drastically increasing in south Korea.
15,000 drug users were recorded in 2000 but they reached to nearly one million in 2009, and addicts are numbered some 20,000.
Young drug users in their teens and 20s, in particular, account for 17%.
As the hospitals prescribe the medicines to patients with narcotic as the main agent, there appeared an atmosphere of openly agitating the use of drug in the public health sector, and the drug smuggling via internet increased 10 times more than that of 2008.

And increasing sex offenses .
Sex offenses are growing in number every year, so in 2008 49 cases were reported on a daily average but in 2009 they were increased to 56.
In 2009, in particular, it is reported that the young sex criminals aged less than 18 years old increased by 25% more than the previous year.