The police have requested an arrest warrant for Kim Myung-hwan, the chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, on charges of planning and carrying out illegal protests in front of the National Assembly in March and April, the police said Tuesday.
The latest move comes at a sensitive time, amid heightening tensions among labor, management and the government over South Korea’s pending ratification of four core International Labor Organization conventions.
The hard-line Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is one of the two biggest labor groups in Korea and has some 1 million members.
According to the Yeongdeungpo Police Station, Kim faces a slew of charges that include interfering with public officials’ execution of their duties, damaging public goods, interfering with traffic, trespassing in a public building and violating the law on protests.
Chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Kim Myung-hwan (center). (Yonhap)
“Based on evidence collected from the scene and analysis of seized goods, we have concluded that there is significant suspicion Mr. Kim led the illegal and violent protests. There are also concerns that he may take flight and destroy evidence,” the police said.
The protests took place March 27 and April 2-3, resulting in violent clashes with the police and collapsed fences as union members tried to push their way into the National Assembly.
Kim was arrested at the scene April 3 and underwent questioning. This was followed by another police interrogation earlier this month.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org