The South Korean state is continuing to deny the rights of teachers. In the latest high court decision, the Korean government has had its decision upheld to strip the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU) of its legal status, on the undemocratic  grounds that the union had not withdrawn membership from teachers who were dismissed for fighting government policies.

The court's judgement means that the KTU will no longer be able to collect membership dues, negotiate, receive government support or have full time workers.

This latest development is of a piece with other attacks on labour rights and democracy in South Korea. At the end of last year there were huge protests against the literal re-writing of history by the Park government as they mandated only one approved history book for schools, in an effort to stop dissenting and critical thinking about the country's past. 

Attacks on the democratic rights of teaching unions are a key weapon in the armory of education 'reformers' like President Park and are being used increasingly around the world. The KTU has a long history of fighting for democratic education and for the rights of both students and teachers. Both Education International and the ITUC have opposed the actions of the government.