Choi Soon-sil’s attorney claims that Choi is being verbally abused and her ‘constitutional rights’ are being violated by the special prosecutor. Choi’s attorney Lee Kyung-jae held a news conference at 11am today to explain why Choi acted the way she did while being led to the special prosecutor yesterday. We covered Choi’s apparent meltdown as she started screaming and had to be forced into the elevator. Choi yelled out, “this special prosecutor is not from a democratic country …. he’s coercing me to confess that President Park and I are co-conspirators.”
Some thought Choi was 'smirking' when being led out after being questioned for 12 hours last night. YT screen linked to source.
Lee claims that there are some good reasons for the disturbance Choi caused. The special prosecutor continued to question Choi when attorneys were dismissed on Christmas Eve — this was Choi’s first appearance for the questioning. Since then, Choi refused to attend any more sessions and one of the reasons is that the special prosecutor is “abusing his power” — Choi had to submit to questioning from 11pm December 24th, 2015, to 1am on Christmas morning when no attorney was present. Lee points out that this violates the right to counsel guaranteed by the Korean constitution.
However, the real reason for Choi’s disturbed behavior was that the special prosecutor is verbally abusing her. Lee claims that Choi was told, “your three generations will be exterminated. Your daughter and grandchild will live in infamy and will not be able to show their faces anywhere in this country.” Lee talks specifically about the prosecutor’s threat at 2:30:
Choi's attorney claims that the special prosecutor threatened to wipe out her "3 generations." YT screen linked to source.
Translated here in full:
2:30 – “While questioning the suspect, the special prosecutor said some things that are shocking and could not come out of anyone’s mouth. For example, he uttered the threat of ‘3-generation extermination’ which existed during medieval times [i.e., the Joseon period, which is medieval for Korea].”
2:52 – “Plus, he said that not only the suspect, Choi Seo-won [that is Choi’s legal name now; she changed it from Choi Soon-sil in 2014] but her daughter and grandchild will forever live in infamy and will not be able to show their faces anywhere. He has said very shocking things like this.”
Those who have watched Korean dramas, particularly historical dramas, may have heard of this “3-generation extermination(삼대멸족).” The practice is said to be still current in North Korea for serious crimes like treason. It is actually a threat to kill the whole clan and wipe out its seed by killing 3 generations of living relatives. For example, there is Choi, her daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, and her 19-month old grandson. Choi is saying that the special prosecutor is trying to “destroy her 3 generations.” Metaphorically, that is.
There are 2 reasons why this type of punishment may have been carried out during South Korea’s medieval period — the Joseon dynasty. First, it was to ensure that the suspect’s genes are not passed to the next generation. The “bad seed” is being terminated by executing 3 living generations. The second reason isn’t so apparent unless you have thought about the rationale for this punishment for a while. When you exterminate 3 generations, there is no survivor remaining. So no one from the surviving generation will track you (or your children) down and wreak vengeance on you for what you did. It’s done and over with.
“The special prosecutor uttered the threat of ‘3-generation extermination’ which existed during medieval times in Korea. Plus, he said that not only Choi but her daughter and grandchild will forever live in infamy and will not be able to show their faces anywhere.”
For example, if you watch historical K-dramas, someone shows up out of the blue and murders the whole clan. However, something may go awry — a child is placed in hiding or somehow survives the extermination. When the child grows up, he tracks down the killer and wipes out the killer’s family. And the cycle repeats.
The medieval period in South Korea was a lot like many other places. There were violent blood feuds among families, clans and tribes that went on for generations like the Hatfields and McCoys. So is “3-generation extermination” so unique to Korea — or is the practice commonplace but the terminology is somewhat unique?
As you can see from the below video, the idea is to wipe out the family seed. Magua is the main villain in “The Last of the Mohicans,” adapted from James Fenimore Cooper’s novel. When Magua kills British army officer Colonel George Munro (bka ‘Grey Hair’), he says the following: “Grey Hair, before you die, know that I will put under the knife your children so I will wipe your seed from the earth forever.”
Magua vows to track down Colonel Munro's children and kill them so 'his seed is wiped out from the earth forever.' YT screen linked to source.
Another country, another blood feud.