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`System to Punish NK Leaders Needed After Reunification`

`System to Punish NK Leaders Needed After Reunification`

Posted October. 05, 2010 13:28,   


A South Korean expert on North Korea urged Monday the creation of laws and systems to punish North Korean leaders for their crimes ahead of Korean reunification.

Lee Hyo-won, a law professor at Seoul National University, made the proposal at the annual academic conference “Twenty Years of German Unification and Unification of the Korean Peninsula” at the university’s Hoam Professors Hall.

Quoting his paper “Elimination of Illegal Systems in the Process of German Unification and Its Implications,” Lee said, “Germany liquidated the illegal systems of East Germany through legislation, hugely contributing to the socio-economic integration of the country after reunification. The illegality in North Korea is more severe and so the liquidation process is more important for South Korea.”

Lee classified the North’s illegal systems into four types: illegal acts to maintain the system such as torture, murder and detention; terrorism such as the 1987 bombing of a Korean Airlines flight; attempts to communize South Korea as exemplified by the Korean War; and illegal asset accumulation by high-ranking officials.

He defined the term “illegal system” as activities not illegal within the North`s communist system but judged illegal after its collapse.

“Over the longer term, the basic law on liquidation of illegal systems should be established, as well as special organizations such as committees on illegal system liquidation and investigation and those for rescuing victims and handling forfeited land in the North.”

At the conference, other experts said introduction of a unification tax as proposed by President Lee Myung-bak would be premature.

Bernhard Seliger, the South Korea representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, said such a tax would have little significance now since it is uncertain when reunification will come and how.