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South Korean President Yoon Under Pressure to Address Media Suppression

Daniel Kim Views  

The media union demanded the dismissal of Korea Communications Commission Chairman Kim Hong Il and Korea Communications Standards Commission Chairman Ryu Hee Rim.

President Yoon Suk Yeol announced on the 22nd that he had appointed Jung Jin Seok, a member of the People Power Party, as his new Chief of Staff.

Amid President Yoon Suk Yeol’s proposal for a so-called summit meeting with Lee Jae Myung, the leader of the Democratic Party, there are demands that restoration of press freedom must be included in the agenda for this meeting.

The National Union of Media Workers issued a statement on the 23rd titled, “A summit meeting without an agenda for the restoration of press freedom is not communication but a show-off,” stating, “Yoon Suk Yeol’s regime’s unconstitutional and outdated media oppression is not only causing a setback in democracy within Korea but is also causing serious problems with national trust and reputation in the international community, leading to a decline in international evaluation indicators such as the democracy diversity index and the press freedom index.” They argued that the regime, dubbed the mouth-shut government, must shed this disgrace and ensure it will guarantee press freedom and democratic communication.

They demanded that the agenda for the summit meeting include issues related to freedom of the press and expression, such as the dismissal of Kim Hong Il, Korea Communications Commission Chairman, who was appointed without any minimum professionalism. They led the hasty sale of YTN under an illegal two-person system. Ryu Hee Rim, the Korea Communications Standards Commission Chairman, has been widely criticized in the media for controversies over biased and targeted political reviews.

They stated that immediate re-legislation of the Broadcasting 3 Acts, which reduce the influence of major political parties in the governance structure of public broadcasting, and the president’s renunciation of veto power over this are necessary as soon as the 22nd National Assembly is inaugurated. They also demanded an immediate halt to separate TV licensing fee notices and a consensus to proceed with a parliamentary re-discussion.

Moreover, they stated that President Yoon must formalize his will to break away from dictatorial methods, such as requesting the ruling party to cancel the complaint related to his satirical video and preventing criticism reports and satire from becoming the subject of forced investigations.

On the 22nd, while personally announcing his presidential chief of staff appointment, President Yoon said, “From now on, we will get closer to the people, persuade and communicate more about the direction we are heading, and focus more on examining and communicating with both the ruling and opposition parties to promote these policies.” Regarding the summit meeting with Lee Jae Myung, the leader of the Democratic Party, he stated, “I invited him to listen, so I will not limit the agenda and will have a diverse discussion.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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