Thousands march against conservative president in South Korea

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Blowing horns and banging on tambourines, thousands of South Koreans marched in Seoul on Saturday to protest the arrest of a labour union leader who may face a rarely used sedition charge over the eruption of violence at an earlier anti-government protest.

See Full Article

The demonstration was the latest in a series of mass protests in recent months of conservative President Park Geun-hye. She has been criticized for her increasingly harsh treatment of union members and dissidents resisting her drive to make labour markets more flexible.

The demonstrators, also carrying banners and handheld signs and shouting for Park to step down, marched through downtown streets as large groups of police officers moved along and kept them at close watch. The walk brought the demonstrators to an area near a hospital where a 69-year-old protester remains in a coma after being injured during a huge rally on Nov. 14, when dozens were hurt in clashes with police.

Police said about 2,500 people participated in Saturday's rally. The crowd was significantly smaller than the protest in November and a peaceful follow-up demonstration on Dec. 5, which drew a combined total of more than 80,000 people.

Park's government has clamped down on labour and civic groups involved in organizing last month's rally, holding them responsible for the violence.

Prosecutors are considering indicting arrested Korean Confederation of Trade Unions President Han Sang-gyun for sedition, a charge unseen in South Korean courts since the 1980s, when the country was under military dictatorship. Under South Korean law, sedition is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The government's tough stance on protesters has added concerns about what critics see as Park's unwillingness to tolerate dissent. Prosecutors in recent months have pushed several criminal defamation cases against journalists and activists, who have been outspoken in their disapproval of Park.

There is also widespread resistance to the government's decision to require middle and high schools to use only state-issued history textbooks starting in 2017, which critics say is an attempt to whitewash the dictatorships that preceded South Korea's bloody transition toward democracy in the 1980s.

Park is the daughter of slain military dictator Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea in the 1960s and '70s, and whose legacy as a successful economic strategist is marred by a brutal record of civilian oppression.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump stands to personally benefit from his own tax plan

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Among the likely winners in President Donald Trump's tax-cut plan would be a real estate developer turned reality TV star who now happens to occupy the White House. The one-page proposal released Wednesday seems sure to benefit the president's businesses. Source
  • Kevin O’Leary says he tried to convince Maxime Bernier to quit Conservative race

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Kevin O’Leary may be gone from the Conservative leadership race, but he doesn’t intend to let himself be forgotten. Instead, the reality TV star and businessman said merger talks were held Thursday between his campaign and Maxime Bernier’s to solidify a plan for the pair to work together between now and May 27, when the new leader is chosen. Source
  • U.K. anti-terror police detain man with knives near Parliament

    World News CBC News
    Armed police carrying out a counterterrorism operation Thursday swooped in on a man they said was carrying knives in a bag near Britain's Parliament and arrested him on suspicion of planning an attack. A European security official familiar with the individual said the suspect was known to British security agencies and was thought to have been inspired by ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Source
  • Five things to know about the Ontario budget delivered Thursday

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's Liberal government delivered its first balanced budget in a decade on Thursday. Here are five things you need to know about the financial plan: POLITICAL CONTEXT: The $141-billion budget -- which includes measures aimed at youth, seniors, parents, homeowners and anyone who uses the health-care system -- comes as the provincial Liberals prepare for next year's election campaign. Source
  • Ontario budget 2017: Health-care spending up as budget hits balance

    Canada News CBC News
    The Ontario government is celebrating getting the books back to balance with significant investments in health care, including a youth pharmacare program, as detailed in the spring budget unveiled Thursday in Toronto. The governing Liberals have fulfilled their pledge to return to black ink by 2017-18. Source
  • U.S. man claims mouse in Coca-Cola can forced him to miss work

    World News CTV News
    MITCHELL, S.D. -- A South Dakota man who claims to have found a mouse in a can of soda is suing Coca-Cola Co., saying he missed 60 hours of work and accumulated $1,000 in medical bills after becoming ill. Source
  • Christy Clark says all Canadians involved in U.S. softwood offer balked

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's Liberal leader says everyone involved in a potential softwood lumber agreement said No when the United States offered a "lousy" deal that would have cost her province 20,000 forestry jobs. Christy Clark said talks with former president Barack Obama ended because of opposition by the prime minister, the international trade minister and lumber employers in B.C. Source
  • Kevin O'Leary met with Andrew Scheer before backing Maxime Bernier

    Canada News CBC News
    Kevin O'Leary praised Maxime Bernier on Wednesday as the candidate who best "mirrors" his policies, but CBC News has learned the reality TV star also held talks with another Conservative leadership candidate the night before. O'Leary had an extensive face-to-face meeting with Andrew Scheer in Toronto on Tuesday night. Source
  • Two Canadian border agents charged with drug smuggling

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Two Canadian border agents are among five people arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling. RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency say the agents worked out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Authorities allege the pair facilitated the importation of more than 30 kilograms of cocaine between January last year and April this year. Source
  • Another court delay for 2 men accused of assaulting Dennis Oland in prison

    Canada News CTV News
    MIRAMICHI, N.B. -- The case of two Halifax men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison has been delayed yet again. Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, allegedly attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. Source