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[Opinion] Cheering Squad from Pyongyang

Posted August. 24, 2003 21:47,   


The Chinese communist party was on the verge of collapse when it was forced out to the remote land by the Kuomintang. Then, the Dec. 9 movement and the Shian incident broke out, serving as great opportunities for the party. In December 1935, college students in Beijing took to the street, urging the two parties to make a coalition force to fight against the Japanese invasion. Then, Jiang Sheryang held Jiang Jes, the leader of the Kuomintang who was visiting Shian to encourage soldiers, in custody and asked him to end the conflict with the communist party. He did it for a great cause of defeating the foreign force. But the development served as a lifeline to Mao Jiodung`s communist party. When Americans detached themselves from the turmoil, the continent soon turned red completely.

Some three decades later, a similar thing happened in the Indochina. While the communist force zeroing in on the capital city, young people in Saigon took to the street slanting anti-American slogans. Then, Americans withdrew its force from the chaotic country, citing the public opinion as the reason. After the country became a communist system, the naïve young people were sent to concentration camps for reform. Some were already so reddened that they did not have to be reformed, though.

In the early 1990s, Philippinos began to demand that Americans pull their troops out of the country. As it is often the case, ideologically-distorted young people raised their voice while conservative groups kept silent. It seemed that the whole country wanted the withdrawal of Americans. Storeowners in Subig Bay also joined the protests, believing that they would make a fortune by luring foreign investors after Americans left. But, they had to face a dismal reality. Few foreign businesses wanted to invest in the country as security became uncertain after the withdrawal.

The story from the three countries warns this country of consequences of ideological hazard. We already saw the confrontation between the conservative and the liberal, while the North Korea`s nuclear program remains a thorny issue. Now it seems that the whole country greets the cheering squad from Pyongyang. Mesmerized by beautiful young women, people here might create a wrong idea about North Korea. Whenever I look at the well-trained cheering squad of young women, it reminds me of the dancing operation unit dispatched by the Chinese communist party to rural areas to promote political campaigns. While saying that the sunshine policy will change the North Korean regime, this country might now have a losing battle when it comes to ideological campaigns.

Ahn Se-young, Guest Writer, Professor at Seogang Univ. syahn@ccs.seogang.ac.kr

Bang Hyung-nam, Editorial Writer, hnbhang@donga.com