The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, “We express our regret to the Korea Comics Promotion Agency and issue a serious warning to the cartoon work satirizing President Yoon Seok-yeol that was displayed at the Bucheon International Comics Festival held recently.”
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued explanatory material today and said, “The selection and display of works that specifically dealt with political topics in the national student cartoon competition held by middle and high school students is extremely contrary to the purpose of the event to inspire students’ desire to create cartoons,” he said.
The controversial work was a cartoon exhibited under the title ‘Yunseok Train’ at the 25th Bucheon International Comics Festival, which ended yesterday.
This work, exhibited at the Korean Manhwa Museum, was drawn by a high school student and won the gold award in the cartoon category of the 23rd National Student Comics Competition held from July to August.
At work, a woman believed to be Kim Geon-hee, his wife, rides in a train cockpit with President Yun’s face, and men in prosecutor uniforms with swords ride in rows in the cabin.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism noted, “Although the Cartoon Image Promotion Agency, which held the National Student Comics Contest, is a foundation affiliated with Bucheon, the government’s budget is KRW 10.2 billion, and the contest gets awarded as the Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism’s Award.”
He continued, “The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it is possible to ‘cancel the approval if it causes social unrest’ when approving the use of the sponsor’s name for this event. I’ll take it,” he said.
Due to the nature of the cartoon genre which deals with social issues, it is a timely choice of subjects beyond a political point of view, but the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to disagree with the selection of the work itself for the competition due to the support of the government, and the debate over freedom of expression is likely to arise.