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Pro-NK Groups` Silence Over Power Succession

Posted September. 30, 2010 07:45,   


Pro-North Korea groups in South Korea remained silent for the second day Wednesday after the North’s apparent decision to hand over power to the third generation of the ruling Kim Jong Il family. This is odd since the groups had been acting like a spokesperson for Pyongyang whenever the chance allowed. Are the groups supporting the decision and waiting for the North’s orders or are they simply ashamed of their prior pro-Pyongyang activities? They must be more than aware of Kim Jong Un’s promotion to general and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers` Party, but have said nothing on this whatsoever.

Certain opposition parties in South Korea have delivered ambiguous comments on the matter. Cho Young-taek, spokesman of the main opposition Democratic Party, said, “The North’s decision makes no sense to people who believe in democracy. In times like these, South Korea must promote cooperation with the North and facilitate its market opening.” These comments are by no means harsh. Kim Jong-chul, a spokesman for the minor opposition New Progressive Party, said, “The North’s decision goes against the South Korean people’s sentiment and democracy,” but added, “It should not strain inter-Korean relations, however.” The progressive Democratic Labor Party remained silent.

Netizens, however, expressed outraged over the silence of pro-North Korea activists. One netizen said, “Why isn’t anyone holding candlelight vigils on the North’s crazy show?" Another said, “It`s very immature to make a young and inexperienced boy a military general. I feel very ashamed as a member of the same people.”

On the investigation results of the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, pro-North Korea forces had rushed to speculate, speaking up for the North. It could prove interesting to ask the Rev. Han Sang-ryol, a pro-North Korea extremist, on what he thinks on this matter. After returning to South Korea from an unauthorized trip to the North, he praised Kim Kong Il and called President Lee Myung-bak "a devil who caused the Cheonan sinking." He was sent to prison afterwards. In the first verdict hearing held a few days ago, Han denied violating the National Security Law, saying, “North Korea is not anti-state.” When pro-North Korea groups start to act will be when Pyongyang starts ordering them to begin support activities.

Editorial Writer Yook Jeong-soo (sooya@donga.com)