Farright party says it will set up protest tents again at public plaza

SEOUL, A farright opposition party said Tuesday it will set up protest tents again at a public plaza in central Seoul this week, heralding another possible clash with the city government and the district office.

The Our Republican Party had illegally set up the tents at Gwanghwamun Square to call for the release of the jailed former President Park Geunhye since May, pitting itself against the city government, which had ordered the removal.

The party temporarily moved the tents to a spot in front of a nearby office building Friday in a bid to cooperate with the government's preparation for U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to South Korea over the weekend.

"We will set the tents back up at the plaza this week," Rep. Cho Wonjin, cohead of the party, said at a meeting with senior party members.

He declined to elaborate on when the party will move them.

Gwanghwamun Square is a symbolic venue, where South Koreans voluntarily staged candlelight vigils in late 2016 to call for the ouster of the scandalhit Park.

The farright party was established in July 2017 by supporters of exPresident Park, who was ousted from office in March of that year over a corruption scandal.

The party is staging tent protests to call for Park's release and a thorough probe into the deaths of five protesters during outdoor rallies in 2017 against the impeachment of the former president.

The Seoul metropolitan government tore down the tents last week, calling them illegal facilities. But the party immediately set up bigger and more tents.

After a temporary removal by the party last week, the city government placed about 80 potted trees around the iconic statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin on the plaza to prevent the party from pitching the protest tents again.

The party and the Seoul metropolitan government filed a complaint against each other over violence that occurred during the demolition process.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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