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[Editorial] A Moral Double Standard

Posted May. 18, 2006 03:00,   


A South Korean family and a Japanese family unknowingly got related by marriage to each other when the North Korean regime “arranged a match” between a South Korean and a Japanese who were taken into North Korea against their will. On May 16, Shigeru Yokota, the father of Megumi Yokota who was abducted to North Korea, met Choi Gye-wol, mother of Kim Young-nam, Mr. Yokota’s son-in-law whom he had never met. They met at the auditorium of Suhyup in Songpa-gu, Seoul, and held each other’s hands. It was a meeting between in-laws who share the same tragedy.

The North Korean regime abducted Megumi in Japan in 1977 and Kim Young-nam at Seonnyudo Island Beach, Gunsan, Northern Jeolla Province, in 1978 with an intention to train them to conduct spy activities against South Korea. Megumi was a middle-school girl and Kim Young-nam was a high-school student by the time they were abducted. It’s so like the North Korean regime that it kidnapped adolescents who were supposed to grow under the care of parents and sought to turn them into spies. Even now, when it voices a slogan like, “We are brethrens,” the North Korean regime still sticks to its vision to reunify the Korean Peninsula by spreading communism in the southern half of the peninsula.

Megumi, who was brought up in the hands of a North Korean spy agency against South Korea, married Kim Young-nam. The two had a daughter, Kim Hye-gyeong. Japan discovered these facts through dogged investigations. However, North Korea still refuses to tell the truth, repeatedly saying that Megumi is dead and with regard to Kim Young-nam, making an excuse that Kim is a “special agent.” It might be because the North Korean regime feels fearful of the consequences of telling the truth because they are well aware that what they did was an atrocity against humanity. However, the tragedy of the Yokotas and the Kims is only the tip of the iceberg of crimes committed by North Korea.

Unfortunately, however, the Korean government is busy protecting the North Korean regime from criticism and turning a blind eye to the truth, let alone investigating and pressing the North Korean regime about its crimes against humanity. On the contrary, the Japanese government is thoroughly investigating the cases of Japanese abductees and piling pressure on North Korea for the sake of the protection of its own people and sovereignty. Mr. Yokota’s visit to Korea is also fully supported by the Embassy of Japan in Korea.

In sharp contrast, the Korean government has not yet even asked North Korea to confirm whether Kim Young-nam is alive, or not. The current administration remains so ignorant of the life and safety of abductees, Korean people who should be protected by the nation, while repeatedly re-examining human rights violations committed in the process of industrialization of the nation. The moral and political double standard of this administration is almost disgusting.