Former South Korean officials appeal for international probe of 2020 election

by WorldTribune Staff, June 15, 2020

Several former South Korean ambassadors and one former vice minister have signed a letter appealing for the world’s attention and calling for an investigation of the April 2020 election.

Leftist President Moon Jae-In’s Democratic Party won 163 seats in the April 15 election. The party’s sister group, the Platform Party, won 17 seats, giving Moon’s government a total of 180 of the National Assembly’s 300 seats.

‘At the heart of the fraudulent elections are problems with early-voting, illegal communication devices embedded in voting machines, and unconstitutional intervention by the courts as well as Chinese intervention.’ / YouTube

The signatories of the letter said it is a “plea for an international intervention in the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) 2020 general election results, which have been rigged from the start and have strong global implications for other countries. The intention is also to inform and report on the crisis facing the ROK’s liberal democratic system which may eventually threaten the world order.”

The letter cited several analysts in South Korea and abroad who “have concluded that the 2020 general elections were highly likely to have been fraudulent.”

The letter cites Professor Walter Mebane of the University of Michigan, Professor Richard DeMillo of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Professor Park Young-Ah of Myongji University, and Professor Park Sung-Hyun of Seoul National University. reported on suspicions of election fraud in May. Particular attention was paid to “a new field of digital fraud involving vote counting machines, computer hardware and software, and Huawei information network telecommunications equipment,” noted Tara O of the East Asia Research Center.

Related: Allegations of fraud in South Korean elections called warning on new voting technologies, May 8, 2020

In the letter asking for an investigation of the election, the signatories write:

“There is much circumstantial and fragmentary evidence that supports the claim, but the Korean government, including the National Election Commission (NEC) and the courts, is ignoring it. The media, under the strong influence of the government, is also silent. Nevertheless, we are raising this issue because we believe that the rigged elections using state-of-the-art electronic equipment may eventually harm the current liberal democratic world order.”

Prior to the April vote, official poll results had consistently reported Moon’s approval rating to be around 50 percent. According to a recent survey, after the election, the president’s approval rating was over 60 percent, and 49 percent approved to his handling of COVID-19 outbreak.

“Many Koreans rationally presume and are confident that the public polls were manipulated,” the letter states.

The letter says that Moon had appointed Cho Hae-Joo, who worked for his presidential campaign, as Standing Commissioner of the NEC, “bypassing the legal requirement for a hearing in the National Assembly.”

The Standing Commissioner of the NEC is heavily involved in public polls. No entity conducting public polls can publish the results without the approval of the NEC.

The general election in April was held under Cho’s “questionable command,” the letter states. “For example, it is quite normal that exit polls, which are conducted by the voters on the day of the vote, reflect the general voting tendency on election day. However, this time they abnormally reflected the entire election results that include those from early voting, which took place on April 10 and 11. The results from early voting were overwhelmingly in favor of the ruling party compared to the results from election day. Statisticians point out that this is an unrealistic phenomenon.”

The letter also cites “possible involvement of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The background of this election may be closely related to the tendency of the Korean government to be pro-China. Specifically, it is presumed that China intervened in Korea’s general elections through close cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and the ROK’s ruling party.”

The letter pointed to a July 2019 agreement between the CCP and Yang Jeong-Cheol, the director of the Democratic Research Institute under the ruling party in Seoul. “The contents of the agreement are confidential and unknown, but it is safe to assume that it was related to cooperation in the upcoming elections,” the letter states.

As reported on May 8, the NEC chose LG U+ 5G, which uses Huawei equipment, to provide Internet and WiFi for handling the pre-vote ballots.

“Experts assert that the devices embedded in the ballot sorting machines, together with related software programs, would have enabled external communication, possibly with Chinese communist members,” the letter states. “In this way, elections managers were easily able to manipulate results.”

Other points of contention in the letter:

• The illegality of QR codes on ballot sheets: Korea’s Public Official Election Act prohibits QR codes on ballot sheets. QR codes, unlike barcodes, can contain much more private information about voters. Nevertheless, the NEC has yet to give a convincing explanation as to why the QR code was adopted for early-voting. The courts have rejected the petitions to preserve the ballot sheets used in the early voting on which QR codes were printed. As the use of QR codes is illegal, it should nullify the general election itself.

• Absence of the list of early-voters: Early-voting turnout prior to the general elections was the highest recorded to date, with 11.7 million voters (approximately 27 percent of voters). However, the NEC said there was no early-voter registration list. If that is the case, the number of voters might have easily been exaggerated by deploying “ghost votes.” This seems to be the reason for the NEC and the courts to refuse surrendering the list of early voters.

• The illegality of pre-printing official seals on ballot sheets: According to the Public Official Election Act, administrative officers at the early-voting venue are required to stamp their official seal on the ballot sheet and issue the paper to the voter on the spot. However, the NEC this time established a separate set of rules, called the Public Official Election Rules, which enabled the officials to pre-print the seals on the ballots. This violated the Priority Principles. This is also a very serious issue because ballots can be manipulated post-mortem using the pre-printed sheets.

“At the heart of the fraudulent elections are problems with early-voting, illegal communication devices embedded in voting machines, and unconstitutional intervention by the courts as well as Chinese intervention,” the letter states.

“The 2020 general elections in the Republic of Korea were clearly rigged. Although it is a domestic event, it has significant global implications that deserve sufficient international attention. It is because the elections will have a great influence on democracies all over the world. Therefore, the international community should not dismiss this event as merely a domestic problem, but should confront it with full force and pursue the truth responsibly.”

Signatories of the letter:

Byun Seung-Gook, Former Ambassador to Portugal
Cho Won-Il, Former Ambassador to Vietnam
Chung Jin-Ho, Former Ambassador to Peru
Hong Seung-Mok, Former Ambassador to Nepal
Kim Suk-Woo, Former Vice Minister, Ministry of Unification
Kim Young-Ki, Former Ambassador to Turkey
Lee Byung-Wha, Former Ambassador to Norway
Lee Jaichun, Former Ambassador to Russia
Lee Sang-Gu, Former Ambassador to Malaysia
Lee Suk-Jo, Former Ambassador to Kenya
Park Dong-Soon, Former Ambassador to Israel

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