[OUTLOOK]What’s the secret of the ‘code’?What is the North Korean Workers’ Party? According to the covenant of the party, “The Korea Workers’ Party is organized with the vanguard fighters who serve devotedly for the victory of the communist movement. The party performs proletarian dictatorship, expels the military forces of the U.S. imperialists from South Korea and actively supports the social democratization of the people of South Korea and fights for the right to live ...” (the Covenant of the Korea Workers’ Party, October 13, 2003, at the sixth Party Conference). In short, the party is an organization which fights for the victory of communism.
Who can become a party member? The covenant stipulates that “a party member should be a person equipped with unwavering belief in the yuil (one and only system) ideology and unconditionally accept and advocate the party line and policy, protest against capitalist ideology that runs counter to the yuil ideology of the party and be determined to faithfully struggle for the socialist fatherland.”
What does the Politburo of the Workers’ Party do? “The Politburo, which organizes and directs all projects of the party, is the absolutely powerful organization which formulates all the policies of the party. Headed by Standing Member Kim Jong-il, the Politburo has figures like Lee Jong-ok and Kim Young-nam as members and Yeon Hyung-mook and Lee Sun-sil as alternate members (“The North Korean politics and economy in the Kim Jong-il era,” Eul-yoo Publishing Co., Page 77).
The sociologist Song Du-yul was a member of this party and claimed to have been treated as an alternate member of the Politburo. Who shelters Mr. Song the most in our society? Who brought him to Korea? Who was the broadcaster in charge that spoke highly of him as a democracy fighter and patriot?
“I wonder if we can punish him even if he is the alternate member Kim Chul-soo,” Justice Minister Kang Gum-sil said. “I don’t know why there’s controversy over him when there are lots of people like Mr. Song in Germany,” said the culture and tourism minister, Lee Chang-dong. “There are more disadvantageous facts than I thought,” President Roh Moo-hyun said. They are all core members of the present administration. They are all those with the same ideology as Mr. Roh. Why do they shield Mr. Song? Is it because of his human rights? Is it for his freedom of thought and studies? Or is there any unspeakable purpose?
Our constitution says, “The Republic of Korea ... consolidates the basic order of liberal democracy ...” (Preamble and Article 4). What should the president do? “The President is responsible for independence of the State, preservation of the territory, continuation of the State, and protection of the constitution.” This means the president has the responsibility to protect liberal democracy as prescribed in the constitution. Then why do people close to the president defend the core figure who took a pledge to fight for communism? Isn’t this abandoning their constitutional duty to protect the country?
Liberal democracy approves of freedom of thought. Therefore, even if a person has communist “thoughts,” we cannot punish him just because he has such thoughts. It is his freedom and his human right. But if the freedom of thought is to destroy the liberal democracy itself, we cannot allow it. This is why we cannot tolerate as freedom of thought Mr. Song’s admission to the party, which fights for the realization of a proletarian dictatorship which permits communist thoughts only. A freedom that suppresses freedom is not freedom. This is our bottom line that we cannot give in.
Such problems as a difficult economy, rising real-estate prices and hard-line labor unions are perhaps not problems. The economy will recover and the price of real estate can be controlled. These problems can be fixed, even if it takes time. A smaller ruling party with a bigger opposition party is not a problem. Even if the ruling party has fewer seats in the National Assembly, the people will believe and support the president if he is truly on the right track. But imagine what would happen if we could not protect the bottom line of liberal democracy? Whether we should banish or punish Mr. Song is no big problem. If he repents, we could even forgive him. The biggest problem is whether our liberal democracy is to be eroded by the leading figures of the present administration in this way.
What is reform? Isn’t it to remove corruption, promote freedom and human rights and make the economy prosper? Isn’t it this kind of reform that the core members of the Roh administration assert? Why do these figures around Mr. Roh fail to mention liberal democracy? I wonder what their code points to.
* The writer is chief editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Moon Chang-keuk