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Man puts plastic bag over face of comfort women statue

June 21, 2024 - 17:58 By Yoon Min-sik
This photo posted by Kim on his group's Facebook page shows a plastic bag placed over the head part of the Statue of Peace in Dongjak-gu, Seoul. (Facebook)

Seoul Seobu Police Station said Friday it has sought charges against a man for placing a plastic bag over a statue symbolizing comfort women, the euphemism for the tens of thousands of women coerced into sexual slavery by imperial Japan during World War II.

The man surnamed Kim, who is a leader of a controversial civic group calling for the abolishment of the act on supporting former comfort women, has been accused of violating Article 3 of the Punishment of Minor Offenses Act for placing the bag on the statue with "demolish" written on it in Eunpyeong Peace Park in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul. The Article bans posting unauthorized advertising materials onto an artificial structure without consent.

Kim had initially been issued an administrative fine of 100,000 won ($72), but his refusal to comply led to the police officially recommending indictment to the prosecution. He is facing the same charges for defiling a comfort women statue in Dongjak-gu, Seoul.

Kim has been on a much-disputed campaign to place signs or plastic bags on the comfort women statues across the country, called Statue of Peace and erected in honor of the victims.

His group was also accused of disrupting the regular Wednesday Demonstrations, which demand Japan apologize for the comfort women issue. The National Human Rights Commission recommended local police to prohibit such actions by Kim's group, but the group filed complaints against the NHRC, claiming its recommendation was abuse of power.