Lawmaker in Anti-Defector Rant

There is controversy in South Korea today over comments critical of both defectors and Saenuri Party lawmaker Ha Tae Kyung made to a defector by Democratic United Party lawmaker Lim Su Kyung at a recent private function.

According to Baek Yo Sep, the 28-year old head of PR for North Korean Youth for North Korea Human Rights who is currently attending Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Lim made the comments to him on the 1st at a restaurant in Seoul, saying, “Defectors who have no roots should just shut their mouths and live quietly in the Republic of Korea. Defectors with no idea should not talk back to a Republic of Korea National Assembly lawmaker.”

Baek, who posted the story on his Facebook page, said he spotted lawmaker Lim in the Jongro restaurant and wanted to take a picture with her, thinking about a time when he had appeared on a television show with her. Lim accepted the request and took the picture with him. However, in the process of her advisor then deleting the pictures it came out that Baek was a defector, causing Lim to launch her alcohol-fuelled stream of invective.

In the process, Lim also heavily criticized Saenuri Party lawmaker Ha Tae Kyung, who used to be a pro-North activist himself, saying, “You work with that Ha Tae Kyung right, on that North Korean human rights stuff? Ha Tae Kyung that turncoat I’m going to kill him with my own bare hands.”

In her response to the growing furore over her comments this morning, Lim said that she had gotten angry because Baek had made a joke about how if the advisor had independently taken away a phone and deleted photos in North Korea he or she would have gotten shot. Lim maintains that she did not order the deletions.

Regarding her remarks about Ha, she explained, “Lawmaker Ha Tae Kyung and I just approach issues differently; we are on the same page in terms of our interest in trying to better the lives and security of North Korean defectors in South Korea. Please let me work through policy.”

Lim earned the nickname ‘Flower of Unification’ when she took an unauthorized trip to Pyongyang to attend the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989 as a representative of the National University Student Council. Lim was recently elected as the party’s no.21 proportional representation candidate from the April 11th legislative elections.