|United Progressive Party spokesman Hong Sung-kyu (center) talks with a policeman as National Intelligence Service investigators raid his residence in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday in connection with allegations that party members plotted an armed rebellion. (Yonhap News)|
The spy agency on Tuesday raided the homes and offices of five people affiliated with the far-left opposition party of Rep. Lee Seok-ki, who has been accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
The National Intelligence Service simultaneously launched the seizure at 6:40 a.m. of the homes of United Progressive Party spokesman Hong Sung-kyu; Pyeongtaek city regional chairman Kim Yang-hyun; Ansan’s Sangrok regional chairman Kim Seok-yong; Hwaseong labor rights center chief Choi Jin-sun; and Jinbo Korea committee chairman Yoon Young-bae.
UPP spokeswoman Kim Jae-yeon accused the NIS’ move as “an attempt to divert the public attention from the government’s failure to break the deadlock at Monday’s three-way talks” between President Park Geun-hye and political leaders.
Scuffles occurred at some of their homes when the authorities rushed in.
NIS officials said they found evidence in recorded files they secured that the five had close links with the so-called Revolutionary Organization.
The secret organization is thought to have been led by Lee. Its members allegedly planned an armed revolt and attacks on major telecommunication lines and railways.
The spy agency arrested key members of the minor progressive party, including Lee, earlier this month for violating the National Security Law.
A motion to oust Lee from the National Assembly is currently being reviewed at the parliamentary ethics committee.
The prosecution is planning to indict three other detained suspects ― Hong Soon-seok, deputy chief of the UPP’s Gyeonggi Province branch; Han Dong-geun, chief of the party’s Suwon office; and Lee Sang-ho, an adviser at a progressive group based in Gyeonggi Province ― after this week’s Chuseok holiday.
Prosecutors are also said to be investigating a cleaning company in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, run by Lee’s acquaintances.
By Suk Gee-hyun(firstname.lastname@example.org)