An opposition lawmaker who attended an official ceremony with President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday was carried out by presidential security agents after what Yoon’s office described as shouting and pulling on the president’s hand.
Rep. Kang Sung-hee of the minor progressive Jinbo Party was among the attendees at a ceremony launching North Jeolla Province as a special self-governing province at the Sori Arts Center in Jeonju, 192 kilometers south of Seoul, and shook hands with the president as he entered the venue.
Video circulating online showed the lawmaker kicking and screaming as he was then carried out by several agents of the Presidential Security Service.
Kang later said at a press conference he was simply asking Yoon to “change the principle of state affairs” as the people would otherwise be unhappy.
“The presidential security agents lifted my arms and legs, and dragged me out,” he said. “I couldn’t speak because my mouth was gagged. My glasses were also taken away.”
A presidential official, however, offered a different account of the incident, saying the lawmaker shouted and would not let go of Yoon’s hand.
“The security service warned him to let go and even after the president had passed by, he continued to shout in a loud voice and disturb the event,” the official told reporters.
“This was naturally a situation that could be considered a security hazard, and that is why Rep. Kang Sung-hee was forced to leave,” the official added, accusing him of “crossing a line that shouldn’t be crossed.” (Yonhap)