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Hwang Jang-yop`s Worry Over S. Korea

Posted August. 03, 2010 12:11,   


The highest-ranking North Korean to defect to South Korea has criticized the South Korean people as “pathetic” in their attitude toward the North. Hwang Jang-yop, former secretary of the ruling North Korean Workers’ Party, has consistently criticized the communist regime of his former country after fleeing to the South in 1997. In a recent news interview, he said certain South Koreans have rejected the official results of the scientific investigation into the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, adding such ill-considered support for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will not only sabotage reunification, but prevent the South from defending itself. “I know Kim Jong Il was behind the Cheonan sinking, and it’s a pity that as many as 30 percent of the South Korean people don’t believe that” he said.

Hwang agreed with South Korean Foreign Minster Yu Myung-hwan in saying, “If young people (in South Korea) like North Korea so much, they should go to the North and live under its regime.” Yu said what he had to say though his comments faced criticism. The main opposition Democratic Party, which has raised doubts over the probe results of the sinking, twisted Yu’s comments by saying, “He called young people North Korea’s servants and insulted them.” Hwang then defended Yu by saying, “Why don’t we let people live wherever they want to?”

Hwang said he feels more pity for South Koreans who deny the truth than he does for the North Korean leader’s tyranny and his people’s starvation. Hwang has tried to inform the South Korean people of Kim’s tyranny and help the South support a regime change in the North. On speculation that Kim’s third son, Jong Un, will succeed his father, Hwang said, “The third generation of hereditary power succession will facilitate the North’s collapse.” In 2002, Hwang attracted criticism from the administration of then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung by publishing a book blasting the sunshine policy.

Though Hwang had remained silent on the North’s terrorist threat and assassination attempts, he finally spoke to ring an alarm bell across South Korean society. He did so out of the judgment that intense support of North Korea is a serious illness that needs a cure. Certain people in South Korea are defending the North despite the globally recognized investigation results of the Cheonan sinking. This is a shocking development and akin to cancer spreading throughout the body. Radical left wingers who support the North are explicitly taking Pyongyang’s side, shaking the identity and ideology of South Korea. What is also worrisome is that no other high-ranking officials besides Yu have openly criticized this disturbing trend.

Editorial Writer Yuk Jeong-su (sooya@donga.com)