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[Opinion] Socialists With and Without Common Sense

Posted July. 15, 2008 07:52,   


Learning of the killing of a South Korean tourist by the North Korean army, numerous comments were posted on the Web under the news articles covering the story. The postings criticized the inhumane act of the secluded regime, arguing, for example, “We have just fattened the slush fund for the North Korean dictator and now we are watching a fellow Korean woman slain,” “The odds are higher to get killed on a tour to Mount Geumgang than to die of mad cow disease eating American beef,” and “We have to stop sending whatever aids to the North.”

Numerous South Korean citizens snapped at the incompetence of the administration as President Lee Myung-bak promised carrots for the North in his speech at the National Assembly, even when he knew a North Korean soldier killed a South Korean woman. The Democratic Party first showed a lukewarm reaction to the news. Later, when the public outcry roared up, the party hurriedly issued a statement yesterday, criticizing the murder. The party may have a melancholic memory in relation to the North since it cut various deals with the communist country in the past administrations, including the tourism deal that opened Mount Geumgang and Gaesong to South Koreans. In any respect, no South Korean agrees with its allegation that the incident shall be isolated from the South-North dialogue.

The Korea Alliance for Progressive Movement, which has spearheaded the anti-American beef demonstrations, alleged in its July 13 statement, “People will not forgive any attempt to manipulate the death politically to freeze the South-North relationship” Allegedly mourning for the innocent victim, the group did not criticize the brutal regime in the North. The group has legitimized the anti-American beef protests, citing the importance of public health. But the group seems to feel no remorse about the loss of an innocent life by North Korea.

The Democratic Labor Party commented on Friday, “It was a deplorable act.” Still, it argued that the death should not endanger the talks between the two Koreas. The party’s homepage is pasted with comments supporting the protests against the import of American beef. On the contrary, the New Progressive Party, which broke away from the DLP, lashed at the brutal regime, demanding North Korea’s apology and criticizing its refusal to cooperate with the Lee government’s investigation. The new party was founded by former DLP members who broke away due to its blinded worship of the reclusive regime. Now, we understand why the two groups could not live under one roof and what ideology the new group represents.

There are no partisan or ideological lines concerning human life and rights. Still, the communist groups that worship the Kim Jong Il regime have never spoken out against the human rights violations of the regime. The DLP and the alliance repeatedly stressed the need to “oust a dictatorship” at the recent candlelight vigils. When it comes to the dictatorship in the North, they have always closed their eyes. The Kim Jong Il-worshiping communist followers have employed double standards that are no longer within the boundary of the common sense and reason in society.

Editorial Writer Huh Mun-myeong (angelhuh@donga.com)