Anchor: The main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) has decided to expel Rep. Lee Jong-myeong for making disparaging comments about the 1980 Gwangju Democracy Movement at a public hearing last week. The party, meanwhile, will defer disciplinary action on the other two representatives who made similar comments, Kim Jin-tae and Kim Soon-rye.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: The main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) decided Thursday to expel Rep. Lee Jong-myeong, while deferring disciplinary action against representatives Kim Jin-tae and Kim Soon-rye.
Party Secretary-General Kim Yong-tae said the lawmakers' recent comments not only go against the spirit of the Gwangju Democracy Movement and the LKP's values of conservatism, but have stirred great public anger.
The ethics committee has deferred the decision for two of the lawmakers who have registered their candidacies for the party's leadership election on February 27th until after the race, as stated under party regulations.
Meanwhile, the party's interim leader Kim Byong-jun has been called on to take more caution after he failed to prevent such an incident.
Lee has ten days to appeal the panel's decision, otherwise the party will put it up for a vote at a general meeting, where approval from more than two-thirds of LKP lawmakers will be required to finalize his dismissal.
Even if Lee is kicked out from the party, it won't directly affect his parliamentary seat, but the parliamentary secretariat will have to decide whether he will be able to retain his proportional representation seat.
The lawmakers have come under fire for inviting a far-right figure to a public hearing last week, where they discussed the possible involvement of North Korea in the pro-democracy movement.
Those who were recognized for their contribution to the uprising were called a "monster group" during the event.
The ruling Democratic Party and three minor opposition parties heavily criticized the LKP for protecting the two lawmakers who are running in the leadership race, saying the party has deceived the public.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.