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Satirical Cartoon New Lightning Rod of Controversy after Ministry Issues Warning

Written: 2022-10-05 15:07:34Updated: 2022-10-05 15:41:04

A satirical cartoon of a train with the face of President Yoon Suk Yeol has sparked controversy after the culture ministry issued a warning to a state-affiliated agency that awarded the high-school aged cartoonist.

During Wednesday’s parliamentary audit of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, minister Park Bo-gyoon addressed concerns about the warning over the winning cartoon entitled "Yoonsukyeolcha" (a portmanteau of the president's name and the word "train"), which also depicted a woman resembling First Lady Kim Keon-hee and others in prosecutorial attire riding the train.

The culture minister downplayed comparisons to political blacklisting after his ministry issued a warning to the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency(KOMACON) on Tuesday for recognizing the work it considered explicit political satire that did not foster creativity in students. It also warned of remedial measures.

In the contest hosted by KOMACON that ran from July to August, a high school student reportedly submitted the caricature that won the second-highest "gold" prize. 

The warning, in turn, prompted main opposition Democratic Party lawmakers during Wednesday’s audit session to question whether the administration was enacting a blacklist against artists, reminiscent of the former Park Geun-hye administration, which minister Park vehemently denied.

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