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New White Paper Stresses ‘Unification via Free Democracy’

New White Paper Stresses ‘Unification via Free Democracy’

Posted August. 02, 2008 09:31,   


The Unification Ministry yesterday said it included a clause on “unification via free democratic system” in its annual white paper.

A similar document published under the previous Roh Moo-hyun administration did not include this line.

Through measures such as revision of the unification commentary document and name alteration of inter-Korean policy, the Lee administration seeks to remove the legacy of inter-Korean policy from the terms of presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh. Both leaders aggressively pursued reconciliation, cooperation, peace and prosperity between the two Koreas.

The ministry said, “The document published July 25 by the Korean Council for Unification Education was designed to evaluate the unification policies of former administrations, and help citizens understand that a desirable unification is based on free democracy as clarified in the Unification Formula for the Korean National Community.”

The formula was announced by President Roh Tae-woo in September 1989, and was reconfirmed by President Kim Young-sam in August 1994. As the official unification formula of the Republic of Korea, it stresses free democracy as a fundamental unification principle.

The Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations inherited this policy, but they greatly highlighted the phrase “The two Koreas are keeping their different political systems in peaceful coexistence” under the “sunshine policy” of engaging the North.

In 2003, the Roh Moo-hyun administration said in a unification paper published after its inauguration that year, “Some blame the existing Unification Formula for the National Community for promoting a South Korea-led unification given that it suggests free democracy as the image of the nations’ future.”

A similar document published last year contains the same lines except for the slight change of “some blame” to “some point out.” This year’s document, however, omits this comment as well as terms like “reconciliation and cooperation” and “peace and prosperity.”

This year’s edition also omits that the June 15 Declaration of 2000 was “a historic event in 55 years of division, holding a significant meaning in being the first summit between the heads of South and North Korea.”

On the 2007 inter-Korean summit declaration, the new edition said, “Considering the lack of progress in Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament and positive changes, inter-Korean coordination and financial aid to the North were not strong enough to draw public consensus and support.”

The ministry also said “mutually-beneficial and co-prosperous inter-Korean relations” is the Lee administration’s official unification formula.