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“Why Won’t You Vote?”

Posted June. 12, 2002 23:46,   


"World Cup 2002 fever is not an only way to revive this nation, but to vote"

Escape from North Korea, Younghwa Kim (49, Sihung City, Kangki-Do) has been waiting for June 13th than anybody else.

It has been 14 years since he escaped from Danchon City, Hamkangnam-Do on June of 1988 to China, arrived in Korea on 1995, after 7years he finally received the citizenship registration card on April 24th of this year. On 13th, he will vote for local elections for the first time as Korean citizen.

In order to receive this piece of card, he has got through many hardships. Numerous requests for asylums had been denied after escape from North Korea, he even deported by Korean government due to rack of political status.

It`s a precious nationality as he had been wondering around China, Vietnam and Japan.

It`s hard for him to understand that the qualified voters are not voting.

"The idea that person like me can also vote for someone I choose makes me proud"

Mr. Kim working as a security guard at Korea Agricultural Research Center will take a first train on the morning of 13th to Yongsan, Seoul to vote. At the time of receiving citizenship registration card, he did not have permanent address, he wrote down one of his supporter`s Namyong-Dong, Yongsan address.

"However disappointed we may be at the politicians, not voting will not be an excuse. And if we do not join the voting, how can we blame administrative posts and the local council membership for their corruption. If the voting rate is higher, elected person will feel more responsible."

Putting stress on "my country, my nation", Mr. Kim emphasized the importance of vote giving the intension of people. He said that although there is an election process in North Korea, it`s merely an act for electing the person who is already chosen by national party.

"I know that the mistrusts for the politician are widespread, but not voting is only the reflection of self-distrust."

Mr. Kim does not know much about the candidates. So he has a mind to vote only for the party of his choice. However, he firmly said, touching his registration card and stamp on his hand; " If there’s no best, the next will be my choice, I will vote for someone who can really represent people, who can really serve people and who has less political ambition".

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com