16:00South Korean Compatriot Jailed For Writing Poem
November 28, Seoul (RSTV)
A new trial was held in South Korea for violating the “national security law.” According to local and foreign media, a Seoul court sentenced an elderly man to 1 year and 2 months in prison for participating in a poetry competition of the Our Nation website (http://uriminzokkiri.com/).
Apparently, the “68-year-old citizen” from media reports is Lee Yoon Seop, who submitted the poem “The Path of Reunification” to the 2016 competition.
It is noteworthy that this poem does not contain any calls for invasion, the armed overthrow of the South Korean regime, or the creation of a local communist party. According to the guilty verdict, the author’s very desire to live in a single country without credit slavery, with free housing, medical care, 12-year compulsory and higher education, where everyone has a stable income, and women are not forced to sell themselves on the street, was regarded as “praise, incitement or propaganda of an anti-government organization.”
In his poem, Lee Yoon Seop talks about how difficult it is to live in the temporarily occupied territories: while in the DPRK even a person from the poorest family has basic human rights, ordinary Koreans in the South of the country, like the author, are forced to pay rent due, save their last money for children’s education, pay taxes (the DPRK tax system has been abolished since March 21, 1974) and die without earnings and medical care.
The writer asks the question: “If we want to achieve the reunification of the Motherland, then how can we do this? Let's cast aside doubts. If all compatriots from North and South Korea unite, it will become the greatest unifying force."
The DPRK International Solidarity Group expresses its full support for the South Korean political prisoner and, with the sincere hope that his words will reach his compatriots around the world, is publishing the full version of his poem in Korean.
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