'Historical decision to protect liberal democracy': president

President Park Geun-hye has called the Constitutional Court's ruling to dissolve the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) a, "historical decision to firmly protect liberal democracy," announced Yoon Doo-hyun, chief presidential public affairs secretary, on December 20. Yoon delivered President Park's message to journalists at Cheong Wa Dae. 

Earlier on December 19, Prime Minister Chung Hongwon also said, "The government respects the Constitutional Court's ruling that the purpose and activities of the UPP are in violation of the Republic of Korea's fundamental democratic order." 

"The Constitutional Court's ruling clearly confirmed that the UPP tried to overthrow South Korea's liberal democracy by exercising an act of violence and to finally pursue a North Korea-style of socialism," said Prime Minister Chung in a statement in relation to the Constitutional Court's ruling on the dissolution of the UPP. 

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won (left) and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Jongdeok make a statement in relation to the Constitutional Court's ruling to dissolve the Unified Progressive Party. 

"With the ruling to dissolve the UPP, the government will now smoothly proceed with follow-up measures as stated in related laws," said the prime minister. "We are going to actively cooperate with the National Election Commission on that matter." 

"Korea is a constitutional state that has democratic principles as our core values," said the prime minister. "Liberal democracy is a noble virtue that our countrymen have tried to defend with blood and sweat and is the foundation that has brought freedom and prosperity." 

"To defend Korea's constitutional order is the government's most basic responsibility," said the prime minister. "The government will not tolerate any attempt or action to deny the Republic of Korea's legitimacy or to harm or challenge liberal democracy. We will act sternly in response to that." 

"The Constitutional Court's ruling shall be an opportunity for Korean society to unite based on constitutional order and to further solidify liberal democratic principles," he said. 

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