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[Editorial] `Man Kyong Dae Consciousness` Is the People`s Consciousness. . .

[Editorial] `Man Kyong Dae Consciousness` Is the People`s Consciousness. . .

Posted August. 23, 2001 09:30,   


The scene at Kimpo Airport on August 15 when the participants returned from the South-North Partnership Function demonstrated in short the chaos around our North Korea policy and the people`s reunification efforts. Some of the participants` behavior created such a stir in our society that one wonders whether this is all that the Kim administration has been able to achieve after pursuing its North Korea policy for three years.

The administration definitely bears most of the responsibility for this incident. During the permit process, the administration did not notice applications submitted under different organization names by members of Pum Min Ryon, an anti-national defense organization, and Han Chong Ryon. This is enough to rouse suspicions that the administration knowingly overlooked these cases during background checks. Moreover, the irresponsible way in which the administration took care of the affair, with the Department of Reunification and the prosecutor`s office blaming each other, should rightly be criticized. Chief of the Department of Reunification, Im Dong Kwon must show by taking concrete actions, including his voluntary resignation, that he takes responsibility for the incident.

Some of the visitors to the North displayed unacceptable behavior even after their return. Especially scandalous was the person most responsible for the Man Kyong Dae visitor registry incident, Kang Jung Ku, a professor at Dongkuk University. Professor Kang explained that he wrote such things as `Man Kyong Dae consciousness` because he was reminded of the school for the bereaved children of revolutionary patriots. ``This school offers special education for bereaved children of those who devoted and sacrificed themselves for their country. Therefore, Man Kyong Dae consciousness is the same thing as forming a national people`s consciousness.``

However, this Man Kyong Dae School is a training center for the main nucleus of leaders who uphold the North Korean system, and has no connection to regular starving citizens. Looking at it from this perspective, Man Kyong Dae consciousness is a lot closer to Kim Il Sung`s program and bears no relation to people`s consciousness. To make an analogy between this Man Kyong Dae and national people`s consciousness, and actually calling this an `explanation` is shocking.

It is also shocking to hear that several members of Pum Min Ryon traveled to Pyongyang without the South Korean government`s authorization and participated in `A Conference of Pum Min Members from South-North and overseas`. If it is true that they communicated with Northern counterparts before the visit, their actions certainly constitute breaking the law and destroying the administration`s and the people`s expectations.

Ideally, diversity of views on reunification in society is a sign of health. Yet, there is a definite limit to where one can take such views. Confusing the nation and rejecting its foundations only obstruct the process of reunification.