중앙데일리

Softer policy of GNP on North called political move

July 07,2007
Wait a minute. That’s what conservative groups were saying yesterday about the Grand National Party’s new, softer policy on North Korea.
The Grand Nationals’ decision to end its traditional anti-communist policy and to engage the North by providing economic assistance was called a political move to appeal to liberal voters in this election year.
On Wednesday, the Grand National Party announced “a vision for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” which includes its support for an inter-Korean summit to contribute to a nuclear free peninsula. Other aid provisions were also included.
The North Korean Democratization Alliance, an organization composed of 20 defector groups, issued a statement to criticize the Grand Nationals’ sweeping changes. “The real peace can only be achieved when the North’s military threat is removed,” the alliance, led by Hwang Jang-yop, former secretary of the North’s Workers’ Party, said. “It is hypocrisy that the Grand National Party will follow the suit of the Sunshine Policy, which sustained the Kim Jong-il dictatorship.”
The alliance said the Grand Nationals were blinded by election year politics and the new North Korea policy must be abolished.
Free Citizens’ Alliance of Korea, a civic group representing the conservatives, also issued a statement, urging the Grand National Party to stay away from populism.
“How is the new policy different from the Sunshine Policy that it has fiercely protested in the past?” the alliance asked.
“We do not oppose a flexible North Korea policy, but denuclearization must be the priority at this time, and aid must be used as a card to pressure the North. Why do the Grand Nationals want to give up the card voluntarily?”
The National Action Campaign for Freedom and Democracy in Korea, a right-wing civic group, also issued a strongly worded statement.
“Right now, there is no difference between the Grand National Party and the leftists,” the statement said. “The majority of the people have no reason to back the Grand National Party anymore.”
The group warned that it will withdraw support for the party and its two presidential contenders, Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, unless the party withdraws its new North Korea policy.


By Ser Myo-ja Staff Writer [myoja@joongang.co.kr]



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