Friday, June 26, 2009

Now the Teachers, After Minerva the Blogger

Ugh! Am I reading North Korea Times?
So much for democracy in Korea.

Eighty-eight teachers will be dismissed or have their licenses suspended for orchestrating the issuance of an anti-Lee Myung-bak statement.

But the group behind the move has vowed to fight for freedom of expression.

The education ministry decided Friday to punish about 17,000 members of the progressive Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union for their joint statement denouncing the Lee Myung-bak administration.

Among them, 10 will be sacked and 78 will see their licenses suspended as well as face a prosecution probe. The number of those to be punished is the highest since the group was formed in 1999.

The government said the group's leaders orchestrated members for ``anti-government actions'' on June 18 in front of Daehan Gate in central Seoul.

``Their anti-Lee action is a disgrace to civil servants. It is a clear violation of civil servants' responsibility to implement governmental policies. Legally, they are prohibited from holding class action and political activities," a government official said.

Chang Ki-won, a top-ranking official at the education ministry, said that the education field should be a ``sacred place ― free from all political ideologies.'' He said the punishments ― mostly warnings and admonition for the rest of the members ― will be issued according to the law.