SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — South Korea’s Justice Ministry said on Tuesday that it will request to the constitutional court for trial of whether to dismiss the minority political party, of which one lawmaker was arrested on charges of conspiring to subvert the government.
The motion to request the dismissal of the left-leaning Unified Progressive Party (UPP) was passed through the Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won.
It was the first time that the government called on the constitutional court to dismiss a political party. If more than 6 judges among 9 favor the motion, the UPP will be dismissed and the alternative party to the UPP will be banned from being organized.
Rep. Lee Seok-ki of the UPP was arrested in early September, becoming the first South Korean lawmaker to face detention on treason charges while in office. Three other UPP members were arrested on the rebellion conspiracy charges.
Rep. Lee had been described by conservative news media as one of the most dangerous pro-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ( DPRK) figures. Lee, who had done underground activities, entered the mainstream political circle by winning a parliamentary seat in April 2012 as a proportional representative.
“The UPP’s party platform pursues the North Korea (DPRK)-type socialism, which is against our constitution’s free democratic order,” Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
Hwang said that the alleged conspiracy of the party’s major force to topple the government was in line with the DPRK’s strategy to revolutionize South Korea.
After receiving the petition to dismiss the UPP in May 2012, the Justice Ministry continued to collect and examine related materials. The ministry formed a task force in September to comprehensively review the UPP platform and activities following the Rep. Lee’s arrest.
Based on the probe results, the Justice Ministry submitted the dismissal bill to the Cabinet meeting, Hwang said, noting that the ministry will request the constitutional court’s trial on the UPP dismissal after completing related procedures.
Request for forfeiting parliamentary seats of the UPP and an injunction to ban political activities of the party will be made as rapidly as possible, Hwang added.