Updated Dec.6,2006 08:53 KST

Union Teacher Took Charges to Communist Nostalgia Bash

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A middle school teacher and member of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union is under investigation for taking his 180 students to an event commemorating the deaths of communist partisan guerrillas. Authorities said Tuesday the teacher identified as Kim (48), who worked at a middle school in North Jeolla Province, took the students to the event on May 28-29 last year. It was organized by an ��unconverted�� long-term prisoner, a term referring to convicts who served on average 31 years in jail for violating the National Security Law and refusing to disavow their communist beliefs. Some 300 people including Solidarity for Reunification representative Han Sang-ryul, Democratic Labor Party supreme council member Ha Yeon-ho and Korean Peasants League vice chairman Seo Jeong-gil attended.

Protestors set fire to the Stars and Stripes in a video clip of an anti-American protest posted on the Korean Teachers and Educational Worker's Union website.

The students went up on stage and told participants they had distributed anti-war badges around the nation in protest against the Iraq war and said they felt unifying the two Koreas was a way to create ��a world without wars.�� They also joined the former communist guerrillas in the shouting of their old slogans against ��imperialist Yankee soldiers�� and the ��puppet regime of Syngman Rhee.�� Kim, who also instructed his students to operate an online group that opposes the U.S.-led war in Iraq, now serves as an official with the KTEWU's North Jeolla Province chapter.

The union has frequently revealed a political bias, from teaching aids instructing students about the wrongs of Seoul's troop dispatch to Iraq in June 2004 to materials criticizing the APEC summit in Korea in November 2005 and the planned free trade agreement between Seoul and Washington in May 2006. A video clip produced by its Busan chapter as a teaching aid at the time of the APEC summit there is full of four-letter-words and lampoons national leaders. The Busan chapter also drew attention to itself when it ran three seminars between Oct. 18 and Nov. 1, 2005 that borrowed heavily from a North Korean history textbook hailing and praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's Songun or military-first policy.

(englishnews@chosun.com )