Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @11 AM
Korea Democracy Foundation (민주화운동기념사업회)
Directions: City Hall station 시청역, exit 10
Five representatives of the overseas scholars opposed to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) interference in South Korean democracy will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 11 am in the auditorium of the Korea Democracy Foundation in Seoul.
The representatives, headed by Prof. Vladimir Tikhonov (Pak Noja) from the University of Oslo, will be releasing a statement of concern over the NIS’s alleged violation of national election laws in the run-up to South Korea’s presidential contest last December. The NIS stands accused of anonymously posting comments denigrating opposition candidates and other figures on several Korean internet sites under the direction of its then director, Won Sei-hoon, who has since resigned.
The NIS, once known as the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, was notorious during South Korea’s military rule as an instrument of surveillance and torture. Its interference in the country’s electoral process signals a possibility that a broad assault on South Korean democracy is underway.
Other representatives of the overseas scholars are Profs. Ju Hui Judy Han (University of Toronto), Jiyoung Song (Singapore Management University), Yoonkyung Lee (State University of New York at Binghamton), and Dr. Se-Woong Koo (Yale University).
The overseas scholars are 206 academics, mostly in the field of Korean studies, and they call for greater scrutiny of the NIS action. They come from a wide range of academic disciplines and are based at institutions in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Brazil, and Israel.
The statement was drafted on September 1, 2013, by eight scholars in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Norway. It was circulated during the month of September, attracting 206 signatories in total.
This press conference will be hosted by Prof. Laam Hae (York University, Canada). Prof. Tikhonov will make the opening remark, followed by other representatives expressing their views on the NIS scandal and reading the full statement. The event will conclude with a Q&A session with the press.