Introduction of the Pirate Party of South Korea
The Pirate Parties International(PPI) had their general assembly in Kazan on 20-21 April 2013 where they accepted some new ordinary members. One of these new members was the Pirate Party of South Korea. Pirate Times interviewed the founder Gyung Chan Lee about the current situation.
Pirate Times: What was your motivation to apply for a PPI membership and what do you expect from the PPI?
Gyung Chan Lee: Korea is the number 10 or 11 nation in economic size. We’ll be under the 10 biggest of OECD and our annual Budget is ca. 340 billion US$ per year. But our politics are out of service. That’s WHY we Koreans are less happy than more poor nations in Asia or the world. We can get a happier society if we get righteous and smart politics. I would like give a chance to young politicians in Korea via the Pirate Party System.
Pirate Times: Will the Pirate Party of South Korea participate in any upcoming elections? Please tell us about your expectations for the next elections you will participate in.
Gyung Chan Lee: Yes! June 2014 is our local elections date. It’s our core target for the election to offer better and new grassroots politics in the whole of Korea. Our local politics are totally corrupted and it’s sad to see how our taxes are wasted. Me, personally, well…..as the Mayor of my hometown, Daegu city, would be nice, because it’s almost as conservative as Munich or Bavaria in Germany. I’m pretty sure that I will fail. But I can spread Piratism (Ideology of PP) to Korea’s “black of black” metropole (a ultra conservative city). So, we will be the winner of 2020 local election.
Pirate Times: How long has the Pirate Party of South Korea existed and what was your motivation to found the party?
Gyung Chan Lee: Since 2011. I created a Pirate Party Forum. Nobody -or just few guys- knew of the PP and so we invited interesting persons like IT professors [and] lawyers etc. It’s a party format as in real parties, I mean a party, like a drink and dinner party. Now they all know what we should do in order to create, “a real political party.” The world best “Digital/IT system Party!”
Pirate Times: What are the core topics of the Pirate Party of South Korea? Are there topics that are unique to the Pirate Party of South Korea, something that distinguishes them from other Pirate Parties?
Gyung Chan Lee: PPK’s core topics are JOBs and once more JOBs for youth. So, we’re going to create a social Pirate Cooperative in Seoul. I’m planning on flying to Berlin to discuss a Global Pirate Coop and to do some networking with PPEU and PPI. Pirate Coop could create thousand of good jobs and we in Korea have the world best Internet infrastructure. The world’s best infrastructure means that if we have wide/broad software (Piratism) then we can simply be the world’s the best Pirate Party. Korea’s country size is also optimal. 50 million in the south, and 20 million in the north. That’s good! North Korea already has the world’s best hacker army. It will be nice once the iron wall starts falling.
Pirate Times: Please tell us more about the inner structure of the Pirate Party of South Korea.
Gyung Chan Lee: We’re still a forum. Our law for creating a new political party is not simple. We have, since 60 years, a system with 2 big parties like in old Germany. CDU/CSU und SPD. We’re about to talk with Prof.Ahn Cheolsoo about a co-operation. He was a presidential candidate and is now an elected Member of the National Assembly. He needs a new party and he is the owner of an IT antivirus company called “Ahn Lab”, the biggest in Korea.
That’s WHY we can achieve real power in 2017. He will be a strong presidential candidate. The problem is, I think, we can’t use the “Pirate Party” name. Pirates got a very negative image because of the old Japanese Pirates. But I’m sure we can use the PP system.
Pirate Times: If you think 5 years ahead, what will be different compared to today’s situation?
Gyung Chan Lee: 5 years ahead ? Please. see the answer above.
Pirate Times: How do you manage to keep your financial balance? Do you have any special fund-raising methods? How can people support the Pirate Party of South Korea?
Gyung Chan Lee: Financial: We will sell Pirate Coop’s membership. It’s easier than just membership fees for a pure political party. Young people , as we call 2030 generations, don’t like pure politics. Me personally, my religion is Roman Catholic, now I’m coordinading 5 million Korean Catholic people for Catholic Coop. It’s an experiment for a Pirate Coop later on. A Super Coop. “Mondragon” from Spain is my dream for the next 10 years. A Korean Mondragon!
I also can create a social foundation later. Prof.Ahn got a foundation already, he donated 100 mio. USD, nearly half of his fortune. It’s a small Gates foundation. We all know we cannot take our money luggage to heaven.
Pirate Times: How many members does the Pirate Party of South Korea have at the moment? Can foreigners become members of the Pirate Party of South Korea?
Gyung Chan Lee: Actually, we’re ca. 120 professionals. Surely Seoul is the main metropole for Piratism.
Featured image by Gyung Chan Lee
About Daniel Ebbert
I’m a pirate from Germany but I live in the Netherlands to study there when I'm not travelling, which happens quite often. I’m a member of the Pirate Party Germany since 2009 and of the Pirate Party of the Netherlands since 2012. Picture: CC-BY 3.0 Tobias M. Eckrich