By Kang Shin-who
A group of conservative civic organizations filed a petition Tuesday with the prosecution to investigate the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), accusing the progressive group of having violated the National Security Law with an act to benefit North Korea.
The conservative groups claimed that the PSPD's letter to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to question the result of an international investigation into the sinking of the South Korean frigate Cheonan was "an act that benefits the enemy (North Korea) and it must be held accountable."
Right Korea and several other conservative groups, mostly comprised of war veterans, filed the petition with the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, alleging the progressive group had harmed the nation's diplomatic activities to the benefit of Pyongyang.
"The PSPD, a treacherous organization, must stop its act of treason to sell the Republic of Korea's sovereignty to the North," they said in a statement during a rally in front of the headquarters of the PSPD. "It is advocating the North's groundless claims."
The right-wing groups also said they will question how the PSPD raises funds for its activities.
The governing Grand National Party (GNP) also slammed the PSPD.
Kim Moo-sung, floor leader of the party, said, "Those who are not military experts collected and edited Internet rumors regarding the multinational team's investigation results and sent a letter to the UNSC." Kim said it is obviously "an act against our country."
The GNP is considering cutting government subsidies to the progressive civic group.
However, the main opposition Democratic Party backed the PSPD.
DP spokesman Woo Sang-ho said, "Criticizing a civic group's move as an act benefitting the enemy amounts to McCarthyism. It's not right to attack a civic group's act of criticism through political motivation."
The prosecution plans to review the case to determine whether it will take any action.
"We will look into the content of the petition requesting the investigation of the PSPD. We will review whether the PSPD violated the National Security Law, or constituted defamation of the investigation team members," a prosecutor said.
The PSPD sent the letter to Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, who holds the UNSC presidency for June, requesting he circulate it to the 15 members. It also sent the report to the 15 UNSC members via e-mail.
In the letter, the group said that it was not certain if a torpedo attack caused the warship to sink and claimed no severe injuries evident of such an explosion were found on the bodies of the survivors and deceased sailors.
It added that it was very natural for civic groups to be critical and express different opinions from their governments.