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Korean Residents in Japan Still Split

Posted June. 26, 2006 07:49,   


Reconciliation between the pro-Seoul Federation of Korean Residents in Japan (Mindan) and the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), the two biggest Korean residents group in Japan, is virtually back to the drawing board.

Ha Byung-ok, the leader of Mindan said on June 24 that reconciliation with Chongryon is back to square one at its central committee meeting held in Tokyo.

However, he added he didn’t mean that the joint statement with Chongryon announced on May 17 is withdrawn.

Ha first apologized for the confusion stirred in the process of proceeding with reconciliation and said he will dismiss all five sub leaders. However, he didn’t say anything about his course of action.

While 171 of 199 members of the Central Committee were present at the Central Committee, some participants intensively pointed out the procedural misstates made by the executives, saying that there had been no internal process of collecting opinions.

Some participants called for the nullification of the joint statement and Ha’s resignation, and called on the convention to convene, but a vote was not taken on whether to hold the central convention since opinions among members of the committee were different.

After the Central Committee, internal conflicts surrounding the reconciliation with Chongryon were settled for the time being. However, there is still room for the recurrence of conflicts as both sides for or against the reconciliation are dissatisfied.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com