Kim Myeong-hwan, the leader of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, a militant labor umbrella group, was released on bail Thursday, a week after being arrested on charges of masterminding assaults on police during outdoor rallies.
The Seoul Southern District Court approved Kim's release on a bail of 100 million won ($86,360) but attached a condition under which he should only stay in his residence.
|Kim Myeong-hwan (Yonhap)|
Kim was also ordered to obtain court approval before moving out of his residence or going on an overseas trip and to comply with a summons from the court.
The same court issued an arrest warrant last Friday for Kim, who was accused of overseeing violent illegal acts during KCTU members' four protest rallies in front of the National Assembly compound on May 21 last year, as well as March 27 and April 2 and 3 this year.
During the protest rallies, labor activists knocked down parts of the fence surrounding the National Assembly in Seoul's Yeouido, assaulted police officers, destroyed police equipment and attempted to force their way into the compound illegally to block the passage of labor bills, including those calling for extending statutory flextime from three to six months to minimize side effects of the government's mandatory 52-hour workweek policy.
Since Kim's arrest, KCTU members have vowed thorough resistance against the Moon Jae-in government.
"(The arrest) showed how prosecutors and police tried to obstruct the KCTU's expression of criticism," Kim told reporters after being released. "They will be responsible for the forcible (arrest)."
"There will be a strike next week for non-regular workers in the public sector. The KCTU will nevertheless continue to fulfill its social responsibility and duty until the day (they) win regular positions," Kim added.