[EDITORIALS]To welcome Mr. Song

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[EDITORIALS]To welcome Mr. Song

In a press briefing yesterday, Song Du-yul made clear his intention to quit North Korea’s Workers’ Party and to give up his German citizenship. He is a Korean-German sociologist currently under investigation by the prosecution on charges of national security law violations.
Mr. Song’s statements yesterday were better than those at his press briefing on Oct. 2 because he specifically said that he would leave the Workers’ Party and respect South Korea’s constitution.
In his earlier press conference, Mr. Song had said, “I don’t know what to apologize for,” repeatedly giving excuses about the circumstances under which he joined the Workers’ Party and allegations that he had been funded by the North. Yesterday, he finally made public his intention to respect our constitution. That is meaningful because it amounts to an oath to be law-abiding, a controversial statement that Mr. Song had refused to sign in the past whenever his return to Seoul was discussed.
Mr. Song, however, made clear that he had no intention of giving up his communist convictions. He said that he was walking out of the Workers’ Party to lead a life as a “border rider” with a balanced way of thinking. So does he want to have access to the North’s philosophy while he lives here? During his time living in Germany, he had called himself a “border rider” but his pro-North Korean leanings were visible. And he is also under investigation as to his membership or quasi-membership in the Workers’ Party politburo. We wonder just what kind of a life he intends to live here as a “border rider.”
We are also skeptical about his motives in giving up his German citizenship. Before his homecoming, Mr. Song denied all the allegations and did not mention his nationality. Cornered by the National Intelligence Service and the prosecution, Mr. Song then stated his intention to renounce his German citizenship. Who would take that as an innocent act? Perhaps he is only trying to avoid deportation.
If Mr. Song wants to live here, then he must confess his past and step inside our system so we can embrace him as a compatriot.
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