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[Editorial] Pro-North Sympathy Culture

Posted December. 27, 2006 03:30,   


The current regime has dominated the “culture power” more firmly than any other regimes had. Ministry of Culture and Tourism positions are mostly occupied by people that fit the regime’s “left-leaning code.” Cultural discourse has put up the sign board that reads “nation” but in the actual sense is being led by the pro-NK anti-U.S. stream. Many figures in power point to the cultural infrastructure of the regime as the “foundation of the ruling power that will last for two or three decades.”

But such extravagant impartiality also roused reactions, and many are bracing themselves up for the movement to find the balance in the cultural discourse. The Culture and Future Forum, a gathering of artists who are liberalists and/or moderate conservationists, which is opening a symposium today, is one of them. They plan to bring the silence and hypocrisy of the writers of so-called nationalism literature faction into the domain of public discussion.

“A true writer is an ethical existence,” said author Bok Geo-il, a representative of the forum. “Those South and North Korean writers who form an organization (like the 6.15 Association of Nationalism Writers) to keep silent about the nuclear development by North Korea and the human rights of the North Koreans are acting according to the political will of North Korea.”

Lee Dong-ha, a professor at the University of Seoul, also criticized them, saying, “Looking at the literary figures who have been writing on liberty and human rights neglect the harsh reality of North Korea, I cannot but question their verity.” According to him, those who say that “a conscience that does not act is on the side of the evil” and keep silent about the begrudging reality North Koreans live through every day are taking part in North Korea’s despotism.

The two poles for the proliferation of pro-North left wing ideas are the Korean Teachers & Educational Worker`s Union the cultural sector that includes the film and publishing industry. On the one hand they dampen the thoughts of young children with left wing ideas; on the other, they promote pro-North and anti-U.S. sentiment in every corner of the society. The influence of the left within the cultural sector is gaining more ground by borrowing the power of public broadcasting.

Experts anticipate that those left wingers within the cultural sector who assisted the birth of the current regime will again unite and rise up again for the presidential election next year. Pan-national efforts are desired for the correct disposition of culture and art so as to counteract to such movements to subordinate arts under a certain political ideology. Our view is that finding equilibrium in the cultural discourse is a precondition for the electorate to make a choice that is reasonable for its own future in the presidential election next year.