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Panel examines views on reunification

Posted December. 14, 2000 14:11,   


The Korea Cooperation and Reconciliation Conference (KCRC), led by standing committee chairman Han Wan-Sang, sponsored the First KRCR Invitational South-South Talks on Dec. 13 at the 63-Building in Yoido, clearly revealing the progressive and conservative viewpoints concerning the changes in North Korea since the successful June 15 inter-Korean Joint Declaration.

At the meeting, about 20 persons attended with the progressives represented by the Korea Democratic Labor Party's National Alliance for Democracy Reunification Korea, and the conservatives represented by Korea Freedom League and Korea Disabled Veterans Organization.

"The Korean conservatives seeking the continuation of the Cold War only seek self-interest without any hint of patriotism or democracy," foreign language university Prof. Lee Jan-Hee said on behalf of the progressives. "The conservatives seem to be calling for a complete surrender by North Korea to abandon its ideology and system of government. Such could lead to none other than war."

On the other hand, Chang Su-Keun, chief researcher at the Korea Freedom League, speaking for the conservatives, said: "Whenever a certain imperfection in the June 15 Joint Declaration is pointed out or the North Korean policy is criticized, automatic 'anti-unification,' 'conservative reaction,' and 'Cold War supporter' labels are attached. Although reunification is indeed a task for us all, reunification requiring a sacrifice of the legitimate history of the people or of democracy could become a calamity."

During the talks, the conservative camp called for cautious countermeasures following a thorough analysis of the changes in North Korea, while the progressive camp called for expansion of reconciliation and cooperation.