Jun Kwang-hoon (Yonhap)
A conservative pastor vowed to continue his fight against President Moon Jae-in, even as massive rallies he had spearheaded over the weekend sparked public backlash amid mounting fears of the potential spread of a novel coronavirus.
The Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, chief of the Christian Council of Korea, appeared at the Seoul Central District Court on Monday to attend a hearing over the legality of detaining him over allegations of violating election law by asking participants in a street rally to support a specific political party in April’s general elections.
“The essence of all the actions I take is to strongly resist President Moon Jae-in, who intends to dismantle the country and lay it at North Korean (leader) Kim Jong-un’s feet,” Jun said. “I will continue to do so.”
Jun said he has faced charges from police seven times, but ultimately mostly avoided them.
He has faced police probes for allegedly inciting a rebellion and illegally collecting donations during the rally.
This is the second time he has attended a hearing for an arrest warrant.
On Jan. 3, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the prosecution’s request for arrest on his alleged role in a violent anti-government rally.
Over the weekend, Jun pushed ahead with a massive rally at Gwanghwamun Plaza in central Seoul despite the government’s ban on rallies at three major public squares in the city center to fight the spreading new coronavirus.
During a rally Sunday, Jun told the group of followers: “it is patriotic to die from illness … those who suffer from illness will be healed if they attend the rally.”
Regarding Jun’s remarks, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon questioned his sanity and said he would request the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency ban and disperse the rallies.