South Korea: search of the premises of a union for alleged links with North Korea
The National Intelligence Service and the police during their raid on Wednesday January 18 of the premises of the main labor union in the country, the KCTU.
AFP - -
Text by: RFI Follow
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) and police in South Korea raided the offices of the country's main workers' union on Wednesday, as part of an investigation into possible illegal links of some members with North Korea.
In the heart of Seoul, the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) were raided, some of its members being suspected of having "
links with North Korea
", said the NIS.
Officially, Seoul is still at war with the North and its national security law states that possession of North Korean products and publications such as the state-run newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, can be a crime.
Together with the Korean National Police Agency, we conducted our own investigation for several years into the suspects' alleged links to North Korea
," an NIS official told AFP.
Based on the evidence obtained, we deemed that a mandatory investigation was necessary, and carried out this raid after the court issued a search and seizure warrant
,” he added.
The KCTU called the police raid "
She also accused Seoul's conservative administration of "
" against her.
This organization, which brings together several unions, is particularly linked to the major strike by truckers in the fuel and steel sectors between November and December 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol ended up
ordering the drivers to return at work
, threatening them with fines or even prison terms.
The national security law, an obstacle to freedom of expression
Accused of participating in pro-Pyongyang activities or spying for North Korea, thousands of people - including union activists - have already been imprisoned by decades-long ruling military governments in South Korea.
Very controversial, the national security law adopted in 1948 is considered by the United Nations as a serious obstacle to freedom of expression in South Korea.
Last year, two South Koreans, including a serving army captain, were arrested on charges of stealing military secrets for a suspected North Korean agent after being paid in cryptocurrency .
To read also: South Korea: warning shots after the first incursion of North Korean drones in five years
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