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    Posted January 6, 2014 by
    Seoul, South Korea

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    South Korea: Will of Late Yi Nam-jong Released, "President Park Geun-hye, You Insist on Sticking to Principles, But Why Don't You Apply Those Principles to Yourself?"

    The Kyunghyang Shinmun, Bak Sun-bong, Gang Hyeon-seok

    "Why doesn't President Park Geun-hye, who says she will stick to principles, apply those principles to herself?"

    The will (photo) of Yi Nam-jong (41) who set fire to himself after displaying a sign reading, "Park Geun-Hye Should Resign" and "Introduce Special Prosecutor" at an overpass in front of Seoul Station on the last day of 2013 was released. On January 2, a "civic committee for the funeral of the patriot Yi Nam-jong, a fighter for democracy" released Yi's will and articles at the funeral home at Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul.

    Yi wrote 7 wills before ending his life. Five were addressed to his siblings, mother, and acquaintances while two were addressed to the people. The first will addressed to the people said, "Despite the support of many citizens, it is President Park who should be responsible for the intervention by government authorities, whether it be deliberate, willful negligence, or the deviant action of an individual." It also said, "I hope the conscience that knows no shame when looking up to heaven is not the principle of President Park." In the second will Yi wrote, "Allow me to take the horror and lack that can be felt but not seen. Fear, I will take with me."

    The committee criticized, "The police distorted and reduced Yi's purpose," while they released the will this day. Bak Seok-wun, co-representative of the Korean Alliance of Progressive Movements said, "The police spread information about Yi's debts to distract attention from Yi's purpose [of his death], but he had no problems getting by in life. Lee's family also said that the reason [for his death] was not a difficult financial situation." Choi Heon-guk, a pastor at Candle Church said, "The police announced that Yi had changed the name of the insurance holder, but that information was also distorted. The insurance in question was a driver's insurance with a monthly payment of 22,770 won. He changed the name of the holder to his younger sibling who did not have a driver's insurance policy; this had nothing to do with his death."

    Yi's funeral will be held as one for democratic citizens. The funeral cortege will leave the hospital on the morning of January 4 and head for Seoul Station Plaza, where they will hold the funeral ceremony. They will then perform traditional rites--once performed in front of the door to one's house during the funeral--in downtown Gwangju. Yi will be buried in the cemetery for fighters for democracy in Mangwol-dong, Gwangju. The city of Gwangju said, "If the funeral committee makes a request, we plan to allow Yi to be buried in the third quarter of the Mangwol Cemetery in Buk-gu, a municipal cemetery."


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