Protests over Cho, Moon administration fill Gwanghwamun streets

Oct 04, 2019, 09:22 am

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Conservative civic groups take part in a demonstration criticizing the Moon Jae-in administration and demanding the resignation of Justice Minister Cho Kuk at Gwanghwamun Plaza in Seoul on Thursday./ Photographed by Lee Byung-hwa

AsiaToday reporter Jo Jae-hyung 

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party as well as and conservative-minded citizens and civic groups held a rally against the Moon Jae-in administration in central Seoul on Thursday with the LKP claiming a turnout of around 3 million. 

“The Rally Urging the Moon Jae-in Administration to Stop Violating the Constitution and the Resignation of Hypocrite Cho Kuk” was the largest rally held by the opposition party and conservative civic groups since Moon Jae-in took office.

LKP Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn raised the level of struggle against the ruling party to unite the conservatives. As the Cho scandal has intensified into a power struggle between the progressives and the conservatives, it is noteworthy whether the confrontation would further affect Moon’s overall government operation ahead of next year’s general elections.

Conservative party chief Hwang said that Cho Kuk is unqualified and that he should immediately step down. He also blasted Moon Jae-in, saying, “10 to 15 new evidences (involving Cho Kuk) come out every day. Moon must be out of his mind appointing Cho as justice minister. The president must take the responsibility and wait for punishment.”

“The Moon Jae-in administration is playing a ‘Red Guard politics,” LKP Floor Leader Na Kyung-won said. “Have you seen the protest in front of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in Seocho-dong in Seoul last week? They claimed two million protesters were at the narrow backstreets. If that was the case, it would be 20 million protesters today!”

The Pan-National Struggle Headquarters for Moon Jae-in’s Resignation held the rally along with the LKP. Jeon Gwang-hoon, a pastor and chief of the Christian Council of Korea, and former Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Jae-oh are the representative and the director of the headquarters, respectively. “At least 3 to 5 million people attended the rally,” said Lee Sang-yong, spokesperson of the struggle headquarters. 

“Those who monopolize the nation’s Constitution and mess up the country should not be forgiven, no matter who they are,” said Jeon. “We need to fix what’s wrong with the power of the people.”

The protesters marched toward Cheong Wa Dae calling for the resignation of Moon Jae-in. 35 people were arrested during the protest as some demonstrators attempted to enter into Cheong Wa Dae. A group of students from universities including Korea and Yonsei universities also staged a rally at Daehangno Street in Seoul to express their objection to Moon’s appointment of Cho as justice minister.

Cheong Wa Dae did not respond to the massive rally while maintain a cautious stance. However, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) strongly criticized the rally as being based on a general mobilization order of the leadership of conservative parties, including the LKP. “Lawmakers and party members were given a general mobilization order for the rally,” DP spokesman Lee Hae-sik said. “The LKP should go and visit victims of typhoon instead of running out into the rally.”  

#Cho Kuk #Moon Jae-in #resignation #protest #rally 
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