July 20 (UPI) -- A South Korean court has declined to issue an arrest warrant for a local activist who threw a shoe at President Moon Jae-in.
Jeong Chang-ok, head of One Korea Work Together, a local nonprofit that has held public protests against North Korea human rights abuses, had been detained Thursday outside the National Assembly building after throwing a shoe in Moon's direction, Newsis reported Monday.
Moon was preparing to step into his car following a speech at the opening ceremony of Seoul's 21st National Assembly, when Jeong threw the shoe at the South Korean leader, according to reports.
As security guards quickly moved to detain Jeong, the activist said the president was an advocate for "fake peace," as well as a "hypocrite."
"Leave South Korea immediately," Jeong shouted at Moon.
South Korea police had requested an arrest warrant on charges of interference with a public official in the exercise of his duty and trespassing. The Seoul Southern District Court denied the requests on Monday on grounds Jeong has an official residence and is unlikely to flee prosecution, according to Yonhap.
On Monday, Jeong told Newsis Moon had abandoned the cause of North Korea human rights while women and children there endure "appalling conditions."
"As someone with a human rights lawyer background, how can [Moon] stay quiet on human rights and stand with mass murderer Kim Jong Un?" Jeong said.
Last week, the South Korean government revoked the operating permits of two defector organizations after they launched anti-Pyongyang leaflets near the border.
Jeong also defended his shoe-throwing as a "performance of freedom," or freedom of expression.
Newsis reported about 40 of Jeong's supporters called for his release outside the courthouse on Monday.