kteu.jpg  Leaders of the KTEU speaking this week (Jeong Jin-hu centre) 134 teachers have been sacked in South Korea for 'political activities' The teachers - all members of the Korean Teachers and Edcuation Workers Union (KTEU) - havebeen sacked in most cases simply for being members of the opposition Democaratic Labour Party (DLP) - a charge which in any case many of them deny. In addition the government is calling on the employers of 35 private school teachers who have also been indicted to sack their staff. A government official said: "Because violations of the prohibition of political activity, such as party membership and party dues payment, fall under the category of ‘instances where the degree of impropriety is severe and deliberate,’ removal measures are unavoidable." Leaders of the KTEU say the situation has become much worse since the administration of Lee Myung-bak took charge in 2008. This government reinstated national testing and thirteen teachers were dismissed and many others disciplined or suspended as a result of the campaign to boycott them (see previous posts). Teachers have also been disciplined for putting out emergency statements against the government's policies. The KTEU union has only been legal since 1999 - before that teachers could be dismissed for membership. Those dismissed include Jeong Jin-hu the leader of the KTEU who has started a hunger strike out side the ministry of educaation. The KTEU say that the action has been timed to coincide with regional elections to help non union teachers standing for education superintendant posts by dismissing leading union members.