Singer joins hunger strike by Sewol victims’ families

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 4, 2014 - 20:53
  • Updated : Aug 4, 2014 - 20:53
South Korean pop singer Kim Jang-hoon said Monday that he will join a hunger strike by family members of those killed in the Sewol ferry disaster to press politicians for the early parliamentary passage of a special law aimed at determining the cause of the disaster.

“I’ll join the hunger strike by the bereaved family members at the Gwanghwamun square from 2 p.m. today,” Kim wrote on his Facebook page.

“The special law is for all of us and the country, not just for the bereaved families, but (I don’t understand) why it is so difficult to make it,” he criticized.
Singer Kim Jang-hoon (Yonhap)

Dozens of family members of the ferry victims have been staging a hunger strike at two places, including the Gwanghwamun square in central Seoul, for more than three weeks, demanding the law’s passage.

Passage of the special law has been stalled for weeks as the ruling Saenuri Party and main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy have clashed over such issues as giving investigative powers to a parliamentary inspection team tasked with examining the cause of the April 16 disaster.

The bill calls for the creation of the inspection team and compensation for families of the victims. More than 300 people, mostly high school students, were killed or left missing in the disaster, prompting public criticism that the government failed to handle the accident properly.

Despite the planned action, the 46-year-old singer said he will perform during a local rock festival as scheduled on Saturday. “After fasting for four days from Monday through Thursday, I will get an IV on Friday to perform,” Kim said. “As a musician, my heart won’t allow me to ascend to the stage turning my back on the unjust world.”

Kim is well-known for his love of South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo and for donations to charity groups.

The star has also shown much interest in the ferry disaster issue, performing in a concert to mark the 100th day after the ferry sinking and launching a civilian treatment program to help heal the trauma from the ferry disaster in cooperation with various relief groups last month. (Yonhap)