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Ex-NK Official: World Must Ignore Pyongyang`s Provocations

Ex-NK Official: World Must Ignore Pyongyang`s Provocations

Posted August. 10, 2009 08:21,   


A former high-ranking North Korean official has urged the international community to ignore North Korea’s continued provocations and isolate it from the world politically, ideologically and economically.

Hwang Jang-yeop, former secretary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party and the architect of the communist country’s “juche (self-reliance)” ideology, said, “North Korean leader Kim Jong Il believes that the only way to boost his authority is to have his enemies pick a fight with the North by threatening the world with nuclear weapons.”

Defecting to South Korea in 1997, he gave a lecture Friday to Dong-A Ilbo reporters who cover inter-Korean issues. This was Hwang`s first visit to a South Korean newspaper to both give a lecture and interview.

To ideologically isolate the Stalinist regime, he said, non-governmental organizations and the 16,000 North Korean defectors living in the South should step forward and tell of the grave human rights situation in the North.

“To defeat an enemy, you must first weaken the enemy’s spirit. If non-governmental organizations take the lead, such efforts will gain a moral basis and produce more fruitful results at lower cost,” Hwang said.

“The South Korean government should select 1,000 smart North Korean defectors. They should be trained and then sent to areas near the North Korean border to work on (for the North’s democratization) through the United States, Japan and Europe.”

Hwang also said that for the North to follow in China’s footsteps in opening up and reforming its society, South Korea and its allies should make the most of Chinese influence over the North.

“We should raise consensus on this with the international community, including the United States and Japan, and make the Chinese government heed such a consensus,” he said.

“For its part, the international community needs to press China, which backs the North, to sever ties with such an evil country.”

Hwang also criticized the U.S. proposal to China to discuss contingency measures in the event of the North Korean regime’s collapse, saying, “No sane person could suggest such a thing. The United States ignores China’s influence.”

He also said South Korea needs to pursue a free trade deal with China to isolate the North economically.

Hwang also urged the South to closely collaborate with the United States and Japan to democratize the North.

“If the three countries devise measures preventing the North from using violence against its people across the border, many North Koreans will cross not only the Duman and Aprok rivers but also the inter-Korean border to flee their country,” he said.

“To bring democracy to the North, the South’s democracy must first be strengthened. In doing so, the media should do its role.”

Hwang also said, “What is the South Korean government doing when Kim Jong Il and South Korean leftists are misleading the South Korean people?” he said. “It makes no sense to launch anti-government demonstrations against the resumption of U.S. beef imports. Why can’t the South Korean people eat U.S. beef when people in the United States, the most advanced country in the world, do?"

“Why didn’t the government arrest lawmakers who sawed facilities of the National Assembly? Why was there no protest against such illegal activities?”

kyle@donga.com zeitung@donga.com