[EDITORIALS]Dealing with Mr. Song

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[EDITORIALS]Dealing with Mr. Song

It is shocking to hear from Song Du-yul, a former South Korean exile and German scholar, that he has been an undercover member of the North Korean Workers’ Party since 1973. People here thought that he was one of the overseas scholars who fought for the democratization of Korea when Seoul was under a dictatorship. That was the reason why the government agency that promotes projects in commemoration of the democraticzation movements decided to invite him to come home after 37 years of exile.
Although they come belatedly, we must accept his confession and apologies. But to prove that the confession and apologies were not out of expediency to escape the difficult situation he is in now, Mr. Song must clarify some doubts about him. First, he must testify as to whether he believed North Korea under Kim Il Sung’s one-man rule was more democratic than South Korea under military dictatorship. If he did, he must explain the logic that led him to that belief. Most people here believed that the dictatorship here was better than Kim Il Sung’s rule, although they suffered under our military rule.
Mr. Song said he had no sense of affilation to the Workers’ Party. But it was he who introduced an idea that virtually blocked intellectuals from criticizing the North. He claimed that criticism of the North must be based on the logic inherent to its system. He must say whether that argument was for the defense of the North Korean system. The theory was more than enough compensation for the North’s welcome and hospitality.
He must answer whether he refused to sign a statement to abide by Korean law before coming to Seoul because he wanted to conceal his past activities. Didn’t he admit them because they were revealed by the intelligence agency’s investigation? Before coming here, he denied his other identy, Kim Chul-su. He described his membership application for the Workers’ Party as if it were a traveler’s arrival report. Mr. Song knows that the party does not admit members so easily.
If Mr. Song repents his past sincerely and is determined to join free Korea, he must tell the truth and beg for pardon.
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