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The hypocrisy of the `peace movement`

Posted November. 26, 2010 10:12,   


The National Assembly passed a resolution Thursday in a near unanimous vote on denouncing North Korea’s shelling attack on the South’s frontline island of Yeonpyeong. Several opposition parties including the main opposition Democratic Party also accepted the resolution, reversing their earlier demand to include it in “easing tension on the Korean Peninsula” and “establishing a permanent peace regime.” The passage was fortunate given the global disgrace Seoul suffered in late March this year, when the ruling Grand National Party was the lone party to adopt a resolution blasting the North’s sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan.

Easing tension and establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula are tasks that will be eventually fulfilled. It is totally inappropriate, however, to talk about easing tension and promoting peace at a time when the North’s ruthless bombing turned Yeonpyeong into a sea of fire and killed innocent soldiers and civilians. Such arguments sound like a luxury under the severe circumstances in which the South is under attack from the North’s premeditated armed provocation. The perception that a military exercise and the Lee Myung-bak administration invited the attack glosses over Pyongyang’s real motive, even if the argument’s good intent is recognized.

The North has long attempted to go over the South’s head to talk with the U.S. On Dec. 31, 1973, then North Korean leader Kim Il Sung announced the tactic before Pyongyang made it official in a letter to Washington under the name of the Supreme People’s Assembly in March 1974. Pyongyang wants to deal with inter-Korean issues only with Seoul, while negotiating peace matters on the Korean Peninsula with Washington. The 2000 joint declaration resulting from the inaugural inter-Korean summit simply acknowledged such a framework.

That is why the North wants to discuss issues such as its nuclear program and a peace regime with Washington, while treating Seoul as a partner for talks on money matters including the Mount Kumgang tour. Chinese and Japanese media say the North’s unveiling of new uranium enrichment facilities to an American scientist and the shelling of Yeonpyeong are aimed at bringing the U.S. to the negotiating table. Seoul must cope by properly understanding Pyongyang’s well-calculated intent.

Left-wing forces in South Korea portray themselves as peace seekers. Through 10 years of the left-leaning administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, they were addicted to the sweet taste of peace bought with money, mistakenly thinking that this was the key to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula. Such a perception, however, resulted in the North’s nuclear armament. Since the Lee administration came to power in the South, the North has escalated the scale of its provocations from killing a South Korean tourist to attacking a naval vessel and shelling a civilian-inhabited island to force Seoul to kneel before Pyongyang.

Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il have long been labeled as criminals against the Korean people and humanity. Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il’s youngest son and heir apparent, is also believed to have started off as a criminal with the latest provocation. The North’s third-generation power succession is about a father teaching his son how to kill their own compatriots. Talking about peace in front of such criminals is a luxury and hypocrisy. Waging an anti-war movement in wartime is not a peace movement in a true sense.