|Do tread on me?|
Despite being disqualified from running for President on a gender technicality in 2007, Kim was believed to still harbor political ambitions, but those hopes now appear to lie in ruins after a photo of her standing on the Korean national flag - which is known as Taegeukgi (pbui) in Korea - went viral on the Korean Internet last week. 'Defaming the national flag or symbol' and 'damaging the dignity of the nation' is illegal under Articles 1, 5, and 10 of the National Flag Act of the Republic of Korea and Articles 1, 2, 4, 7, 19, 58, 97, 105, 803, 19,036 and 83,342 of the Criminal Act.
Kim claims she was laying a flower at the memorial alter of former 62 year-old left-wing President Kim, who committed suicide in 2009 amidst a widening corruption investigation. The memorial stone had been placed on a large flag, and some have blamed the company which organized the event, GNP Funerals. But many saw the move as a reflection of intent to deny the Republic of Korea, which is symbolized by Taegeukgi (pbui) - a 'populist' move typical of left-leaning activists still bitter about previous imprisonments and torture under the former right wing dictatorship, such as Kim herself between 1979 and 1981.
The female former Prime Minister's act of defaming the national flag was condemned by the CJD newspaper, the Dongo-a Ilbo, as typical of "the kind of 'populists' who prefer to sing the activists' song 'March in Honor of Fighters' and make a 'silent prayer for democracy fighters' in lieu of singing the National Anthem, pledge allegiance, and make a silent prayer for patriots and fallen national heroes," although the newspaper concluded that it might have been a mistake caused by her being a stupid woman.
Some netizens are also angry over her choice of flower - a chrysanthemum, which is the symbol on the Japanese Emperor's seal. "This was clearly a call for a return to the Japanese colonial rule under which she was born in Pyongyang" said one Internet user. But for some the sight of a woman walking on the national flag held a much deeper symbolism "It was a sexual act." said one netizen, "Some men enjoy being walked on by women and this is exactly what the former prime minister did to Taegeukgi (pbui)".
Many agreed that Kim had indeed sexually abused the Korean flag. While numerous so-called 'Taegeukgi porn' images can be found on the Internet, and many right wing Korean men are believed to regularly engage in sexual acts with the Korean flag after their wives and parents have gone to bed, this is thought to be the first case involving a woman in public. The only previously issued legal proceedings involved a member of VANK and the case was dropped after he agreed to wash the flag in question properly.
Earlier this a 63 year-old man was set free by the Changwon District Court after throwing human excrement at the tomb of the allegedly corrupt former President Kim, after he explained it was to bring attention to the "negative consequences" of his liberal rule. However, those who defame the Korean flag can be subject to a maximum of five years in jail. When the late President Kim's liberal collaborator, former Prime Minister Kim, is finally found guilty of sexually abusing Taegeukgi (pbui), it is not known if the judge will take her previous two years in prison being tortured into account in sentencing her, but prosecutors will be requesting a jail sentence which ensures she is unable to damage the dignity of the nation by stepping on any more flags until after the next presidential elections.
A few minor 'liberal', 'populist', 'progressive' individuals have suggested that making standing on a piece of cloth a worse criminal offense than abusing children is what really hurts the 'dignity of the nation', but right-wing child abusers dismissed the idea as ridiculous.
Stepping on national integrity?
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