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[Opinion] Our Twisted Hero

Posted October. 26, 2003 23:12,   


In the 1970s, Ph.D. scholar Song Doo-yul’s place was one of the few places that poor Korean study-abroaders to Europe could go visit and get treated well with a meal while having a tabooed conversations of ideologies during those days. What would have been more crucial in drawing him so close to North Korea: “Activity Money” that made it possible to accommodate those fellow students welcomingly or “Juche Theory?” His creation of the way of “Inner Approach” to the North Korean system, would it be a result of the high ranking position that he assumed in North Korea or a reason for it? Would the reason - that he risked coming to South Korea even against the “judicial action”- be out of his dedication to North Korea in order to establish the foundation for the communization unification in South Korea for the rest of his life or his behind-the-screen situations that he could not receive “activity money” from North Korea while remaining in Europe?

Whatever the reason or the situation which Mr. Song had to come to South Korea or even the people’s intention that invited and sent Mr. Song to South Korea was, his coming to Korea definitely unveiled the mystery off of him. A tug of war that he played, admitting one thing hesitantly and refuting it the next moment, during the summons by the National Intelligence Agency and the Prosecution, his unclear comments, unfixed eyes, and refusal to clarify in his ideological orientation; they obviously proved that he was not a “person on the borderline” who possesses intellectual austerity and audacity but a opportunist and a “gray man” who cannot be honest either to himself or to others. He gave bitter disillusionment to the innocent people who had admired him as a hero and embarrassments to many intellectuals who had expected dignity as an intellectual of him even when they differed in ideological views.

In my opinion, it would be the harshest punishment for him to let him freely work in Korea. That way, his many secrets will reveal themselves with the spotlights from the free media; destitution of his ideological foundation will be disclosed at free debates with intellects; his activities to educate young people will earn cold responses and ridicules from them. That he will be proven as an ideological con artist instead of an intellectual hero or prominent ideologist, it will be the heaviest punishment that he can bear under unavoidable self-regret and self-distrust as a scholar Song Doo-yul.

The judicial action regarding his case should not hurt the dignity of the Korean Law and not violate the equity of the similar cases. Apart from the judicial action, if he admits his intellectual faultiness and bankruptcy honestly, he still has a chance to be saved.

Soe, Ji-moon, Visiting Editorial Writer & Professor at Korea University,