According to Korean Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi, "The National Security Law was made by the right-wing in South Korea after the establishment of its own separate South Korean government , to purge their opposition. The precedence of the law was the ‘Law for Maintenance of the Public Security’ under the Japanese colonialism (1910~1945) that oppressed the independence movement activists who were against the Japanese imperialism. The ‘Law for Maintenance of the Public Security’ under Japanese imperialism was called ‘the most vicious law in the world’ and was abolished by the order of the headquarter of the united alliance countries after the defeat of the Japanese imperialism on October 15, 1945. More than 13,178 have been indicted under the National Security Law and went to trial from 1961-2002. The law has been used for the purpose to oppress the progressive movement who criticized the dictatorship governments."
While recently in South Korea I visited Eun-A Choi (the woman in the above photo) at the prison where she is being held. She had facilitated the plenary panel I spoke on during our Global Network space organizing conference in Seoul last April.
It is obvious to me that these trials of PKAR activists are meant to strike fear in the hearts and minds of the South Korean people by their right-wing government. And I have little doubt that the US, which also wants to suppress the anti-base and reunification movements in South Korea, is privately encouraging the government to pursue these policies.
Similarly in the US we see the Obama administration refusing to shut down the Patriot Act which gives our government the power to suppress movements in this country that stand against its aggressive war making policies.
In times like these we must support activists in other countries who are being punished for their peace making efforts. You can write or call the South Korean embassy in Washington DC and tell them to release the PKAR activists from prison. Here is the information: