Unified Progressive Party

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Unified Progressive Party (Dissolved party)
Leader Lee Jung-hee[1]
Founded 5 December 2011 (2011-12-05)
Dissolved 19 December 2014 (2014-12-19)
Merger of People's Participation Party, Democratic Labor Party, elements of the New Progressive Party
Headquarters Noryangjin-ro 12, Solbom Building 12th floor, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
Ideology Progressivism[2]
Political position Left-wing[3][4]
Colours Purple
Seats in the National Assembly
0 / 300
Website
(Korean)
Politics of South Korea
Political parties
Elections
Unified Progressive Party
Hangul 통합진보당
Hanja 統合進步黨
Revised Romanization Tonghap Jinbodang
McCune–Reischauer T'onghap Chinbotang

The Unified Progressive Party (UPP; Korean: 통합진보당, RR: Tonghap Jinbo-dang, Hanja: 統合進步黨) is a banned left-leaning political party in South Korea. It was founded on 5 December 2011 as a merger of the Democratic Labor Party, the People's Participation Party of Rhyu Si-min, and a faction of the New Progressive Party.[2][5] Until 12 May 2012 it was jointly chaired by Rhyu Si-min, Lee Jung-hee, and Sim Sang-jeong.[4][6]

The UPP has proposed an alliance with the major liberal Democratic United Party (DUP), which the DUP has rejected.[4]

In the 2012 National Assembly election the party gained eight seats for a total of thirteen seats out of 300, advancing to the third position, well ahead of the conservative Liberty Forward Party (which lost most of its seats).

On 24 April 2012, the party provisionally voted to drop the "Unified" component of its name, and adopt the name "Progressive Party". The change is subject to a vote of the party's Central Committee on 13 May.[7] On 3 May 2012, the party internal investigation revealed that wide-ranging irregularities occurred in selecting UPP's proportional representation candidates.[8][9] UPP won six proportional representatives in the 11 April general election,[10] but one legislator resigned amid the election scandal. All four co-leaders of the party subsequently resigned on 12 May.[11] The Ministry of Justice of Korea petitioned the Constitutional Court of Korea to dissolve the UPP due to their alleged pro-North Korea views in November 2013, two months after the UPP members allegedly involved in the 2013 South Korean sabotage plot were arrested. On 19 December 2014 10:00 (UTC+9, Korean Standard Time), the Constitutional Court of Korea ruled 8-1 in favour of the dissolution. The five UPP lawmakers were also deprived of their seats. [12][13][14] By-elections for filling in the seats vacated by the former UPP MPs will be held 29 April 2015.

Lee Seok-ki sabotage plot[edit]

On 5 September 2013, South Korea’s spy agency accused UPP lawmaker Lee Seok-ki of plotting a pro-North Korean rebellion. The case triggered a political and media firestorm in a nation where even praising the North can be considered a crime. [15] He allegedly led a May 2013 meeting, comprised partly of UPP members, in which reference was made to the prospect of attacking South Korean infrastructure in the event that recently heightened tensions between the Koreas led to war.

South Korean prosecutors subsequently indicted Lee on charges of plotting a pro-North Korea rebellion to overthrow the government, saying his plan posed a “grave” national security threat.[16] However, many people, including UPP lawmakers, say that while the meeting in question did take place, they had no intention of destroying Korean infrastructure.

On 17 February 2014, Lee was sentenced by a district court to 12 years in prison. [17] [18]

Position on North Korea[edit]

On 18 June 2012 the Unified Progressive Party announced a blueprint for reform of the party's political positions, including adoption of a critical position regarding North Korea's human rights record, a spokesman stating, "North Korea’s record on human rights cannot be justified at all, even when considering its dire economic situation".[19] The party's reform effort also included criticism of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and practice of hereditary succession. The party clarified its call for an end to military cooperation with the United States, explaining that this should follow peace with North Korea, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and reunification.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.goupp.org/kor/intro/greeting.php UPP intro page(korean)
  2. ^ a b "Minor parties launch 'Unified Progressive Party'". The Korea Times. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012 
  3. ^ "Liberal parties agree to field unified candidates for April elections". Yonhap News Agency. 10 March 2012 
  4. ^ a b c Bae Hyun-jung (20 January 2012). "Minority parties struggle". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 1 February 2012 
  5. ^ "S. Korea's minor parties coalesce to form new progressive party". People's Daily Online. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012 
  6. ^ "Progressive parties unified". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 1 February 2012 
  7. ^ Progressives drop ‘united’ from party name, The Korea Herald. 24 April 2012, retrieved 24 April 2012.
  8. ^ "UPP should clearly settle vote irregularity scandal". Yonhap News. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Huh Yun-seok(허윤석) (3 May 2012). '지도부 사퇴' 밝힌 진보당, 비례대표 거취 '충돌' [UPP party leader resigned. Internal conflict is widening.]. SBS (in Korean). Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Kim Hee-jin (3 May 2012). "UPP admits its primary was rigged". JoongAng daily. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Leftist party leaders resign over election scandal". The Korea Times. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  12. ^ S Korea Court Orders Dissolution of Leftist Party
  13. ^ Official court opinion (in Korean)
  14. ^ Official announcement of the UPP's dissolution by the National Electoral Commission (in Korean)
  15. ^ South Korea Lawmaker Arrested in Alleged Rebellion Plot
  16. ^ South Korean prosecutors charge leftist lawmaker with plotting pro-North Korea rebellion
  17. ^ Leftist lawmaker gets 12-year prison for rebellion plot
  18. ^ (LEAD) Leftist lawmaker gets 12-year prison term for rebellion plot
  19. ^ Kang Hyun-kyung (18 June 2012). "Leftist party set to shift stance on NK". Korean Times. Retrieved 18 June 2012. Briefing on the key elements of the UPP tasks on behalf of the party, Rep. Park Won-suk said North Korea’s record on human rights cannot be justified at all, even when considering its dire economic situation. 
  20. ^ "Committee of progressive party deplores N.K. human rights, power succession". Yonhap. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012. a clear condemnation of North Korea's human rights situation, its nuclear weapons program and hereditary succession of power. 

External links[edit]