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[Editorial] Let Hwang Jang-Yop Visit U.S.

Posted July. 05, 2001 09:36,   


The issue of the Hwang Jang-Yop`s trip to the U.S. has brought about controversies in the nation. In short, his visit to the U.S. has to be accomplished according to his hope. There is no justification to prevent him from visiting the U.S. when Mr. Hwang wants to visit the U.S. and the U.S. Congress gives its words for his secure security guarantee.

The government announced that Mr. Hwang`s visit to the U.S. is difficult to be achieved until the U.S. government guarantees his security. However, the government in fact worries about the aftereffects of the Hwang`s testimony to the Korean politics and the Inter-Korean relationship. Because of the potential negative effects of the Hwang`s trip to the U.S., the government reportedly would not allow him to visit the U.S. until the Kim Jong-Il`s return visit to Seoul.

However, the government decision is short-sighted. The testimony of Mr. Hwang about North Korea would back up the stances of the hard-liners in the U.S. Congress. In addition, the North-U.S. relationship would be deterred as a result. However, in a long run, it would positively affect the political situation around the Korean peninsula.

The Hwang`s testimony is certainly providing the international society with a chance to look closely at the truth of the North and the more concrete information to decide the measures to maintain the current bilateral or multilateral relationships. That is the reason why the international society pays attention to Mr. Hwang`s testimony. What would the international society think about the South government trying to block Mr. Hwang`s testimony from disturbing the North.

In April 1999, three North Korean defectors provided testimonies of the North Korean human right situation in a U.S. Senate hearing. The delaying tactic of the government to prevent the Mr. Hwang`s testimony in the U.S Congress with a string of the security guarantee from the U.S. government may be considered by the international society as too passive.

President Kim Dae-Jung said during his visit to Washington in March that Mr. Hwang`s trip to the U.S. would be possible when his security is guaranteed. And the U.S. Congress clearly expressed its will to prepare the necessary measures for Hwang`s security. Now, the government has to make efforts to accomplish the Hwang`s testimony in the U.S. Congress.