March 29 (UPI) — A former band member of K-pop group AOA condemned a South Korean lawmaker for not resigning from parliament despite allegations of misappropriating funds intended for former “comfort women” forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels.
Kwon Min-ah, a singer and actress with a popular Instagram account, suggested Sunday that Yoon Mee-hyang, the founder of the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery, was not fit to remain in the National Assembly, the Donga Ilbo reported Monday.
“They may all be smarter than myself,” Kwon said. “But [convicted criminal] Cho Doo-soon who was released and living [on public welfare] and lawmaker Yoon Mee-hyang is still a sitting politician. Is this right, does this even make sense?”
Cho was sentenced to prison for raping an eight-year-old girl in 2008, but was released in November.
South Korean celebrities generally avoid political commentary and controversy. Kwon has previously waded into a debate about domestic politics, according to the JoongAng Ilbo.
Earlier in March Kwon had said President Moon Jae-in “had raised home prices too much.” The singer also had said she would receive the COVID-19 vaccine after the president takes the inoculation in public.
Yoon has stayed mostly out of the public spotlight since a former comfort woman, Lee Yong-soo, accused her of “betrayal” and using former victims to collect public funds. Yoon’s group is believed to have collected at least millions of dollars over three decades, while holding weekly rallies and other public events.
Lee has engaged in independent activism after disavowing Yoon and the Korean Council.
Last year Lee said Yoon did not exercise transparency in handling donations, and that the elderly victims “lived in the dark” while Yoon may have enriched herself.
Last year Yoon faced allegations from opposition politicians that she used money collected for the women to buy real estate and pay tuition at an expensive U.S. school for her daughter.