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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Han

The Head of the Voice of Seoul was fined for “calling Lew Seok-choon a traitor...

A fine has been conclusively imposed on Baek Eun-jung, the head of “The Voice of Seoul,” who was indicted for allegedly causing a commotion at the office of Lew Seok-choon, a former Yonsei University professor, who had aroused criticism for his “reckless remarks on comfort women.”

On September 15, 2022, the South Korean Supreme Court Small Bench III (Presiding Justice: Kim Jae-hyung) finalized the original decision to fine Baek Eun-jung 5 million won (approx. 512,000 yen), who had been charged with insult and violence.

Mr. Baek was indicted on suspicion of committing violent acts against Mr. Lew in September 2019, such as entering his office at Yonsei University without permission, where he was then working as a professor, shouting, “You are a traitor,” or “Are you a professor of sociology? You are a spy for Japan, aren’t you?” and trying to drag Mr. Lew out by pulling his arm to get him arrested. Mr. Baek was also suspected of assaulting a conservative you-tuber who photographed his face at the National Assembly Building in December of the same year.

Mr. Baek’s claimed that “his acts had been legitimate and not violated the social norms,” but the court dismissed it. The second trial convicted him by stating, “Whether the victim’s actions were quislingismor not is in the realm of subjective evaluations, but crimes of the accused damaged the peace of residence and the individual’s reputation,” and adding, “Mr. Baek’s methods and ways are not considered as rational,” regarding his alleged assaults upon the conservative you-tuber as well, and sentenced him to a 5 million won fine.

The Supreme Court maintained the same judgment and confirmed the original verdict by declaring, “The original judgment didn’t have any mistakes such as deviating from the limit of free evaluation of the evidence against laws of logic and experience, or misunderstanding legal principles.”

The former professor Lew was prosecuted for allegedly defaming “comfort women” in September 2019 by saying in class at Yonsei University that the Japanese military “comfort women” during the Japanese imperial occupation were “voluntary prostitutes”, and his first trial is still ongoing.


● The Hankyoreh (Friday, September 16, 2022)

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