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[Editorial] Justice Minister Must Consider New Allegations Linking Professor to North

[Editorial] Justice Minister Must Consider New Allegations Linking Professor to North

Posted October. 14, 2005 07:36,   


The prosecution and police said in a written statement that Professor Kang Jeong-gu, who has triggered controversy for his pro-North Korean remarks, was allegedly guided by North Korea.

If his remarks come at North Korea’s guidance, they constitute a threat to national security and should not be subject to academic freedom.

These allegations have not been proven by full-scale investigation and thus cannot be assumed true at the moment. However, it was too naïve of Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae to direct that the investigation into Kang should proceed without detention because of the chance of destruction of evidence or escape when the prosecution and the police found the possibility that Kang may have been following orders from North Korea.

According to the statement by the police, Kang’s behavior was, in terms of timing, in accord with the guidance of Anti-imperialist Democratic National Frontier (ADNF), a unification vanguard agency subordinate to the Workers’ Party of North Korea. On the website of the ADNF, the New Year’s greeting says it designated the year 2005 as the first year for the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Korea, and encouraged campaigners to remove the statue of General MacArthur in Incheon. Kang claimed the statue of the general “should be immediately destroyed” during his lecture at the Incheon Tong-il (unification) Solidarity Seminar and in his column posted on an Internet media website.

It is hard to accept the simultaneous nature of both North and South Korean campaigns to remove the statue as a mere coincidence. On the ADNF’s website, Kang’s lectures, papers, and remarks are posted in detail, which is unusual.

His remarks and writings contain consistent arguments that call for a socialist reunification of the Korean Peninsula and the withdrawal of “imperialist Americans” who hinder unification efforts. If his calls for the removal of the statue of General MacArthur or a withdrawal of U.S. forces in Korea, and his observation: “Let’s reunify the two Koreas with the spirit of Mangyeongdae (former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung’s birthplace)” were given under the guidance of North Korea, he deserves the charges that he acted to collapse South Korean society in order to achieve unification efforts put forth by North Korea.

As the newly surfaced suspicion is a serious one, the investigation on Kang should get off to a new start. The prosecution must embark on a full-fledged investigation as soon as it takes charge of the case from the police, and discover all the related facts. If the allegations prove true, the justice minister should cancel his no-detention policy and put the decision in the hands of the judiciary.