February 22, 2024

What the Lee Seok-ki case doesn’t mean

What complaints about Lee’s prosecution, UPP dissolution miss

As he departed the Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon, Lee Seok-ki sought to convince observers that his conviction represented nothing less than the death of Korean democracy and rule of law. Shouting that “in our country” justice has died, Lee’s defiant stance against the Park Geun-hye administration – he would like you to believe – is all that stands between South Korea and a return to the dark days of authoritarian rule. Fortunately for everyone else, the reality is different.

The Supreme Court judgment was the latest of four involving Lee: three against Lee and a group of other political officials, and one against the now defunct Unified Progressive Party of which they had been a part.