[EDITORIALS]Misplaced indignationSuspicions raised about Song Du-yul, a South Korean scholar in exile in Germany, have been proved to be true during an investigation by the National Intelligence Service.
Mr. Song studied juche, North Korea’s self-reliance ideology, during a visit there in 1973 and became a member of the Workers’ Party. He was elected a member of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party under the pseudonym of Kim Chul-su in May 1991. He visited North Korea 18 times and received large sums of money from the government in Pyeongyang.
Scholars, civic groups and institutions here in the South who gave him support without knowing his true identity must reconsider their positions and stop these time-wasting controversies.
Song Du-yul as a pro-North Korean scholar overseas has a completely different meaning to us than Song Du-yul as a senior official of North Korea’s ruling party. The questions of motivation are important; many intellectuals and civic groups here protested when his first plans to visit here were thwarted by the government. Those people considered him a hero of the democracy movement.
But now that his real identity has been exposed by his confession, we see that he has a political motivation for his activities. Individuals and groups that sympathized and supported him must make their positions clear. They cannot escape blame from the people if they continue to defend him.
We are embarrassed to hear that the participants at an academic symposium held after his true identity was disclosed gave three cheers for Mr. Song.
The Korean Broadcasting System aired programs on Mr. Song’s life on May 11 and Sept. 30, and depicted him as a victim of ideological conflict. The government agency that promotes commemorative projects for the democratization movement invited him here as an overseas Korean who contributed to democratization.
Those two organizations must clarify their stances and take responsibility, as the commemoration agency pledged that it would do if allegations about Mr. Song were proven.