[EDITORIALS]Mr. Song’s reflectionThe attitude of the prosecution, which is investigating Song Du-yul, a Korean-German sociologist, on charges of National Security Act violations, is ambiguous. It looks as if the prosecution is begging Mr. Song to write a more sincere statement of reflection on his past. It had been emphasizing that it would handle the case according to the law. But beginning in the latter part of last week it started to talk about Mr. Song’s repentance. We are puzzled at this sudden change.
We note that the change took place after President Roh Moo-hyun’s speech at the National Assembly on Oct. 13. Through the address, Mr. Roh emphatically demanded that leniency be shown to Mr. Song. We cannot prove the degree to which Mr. Roh’s words influenced the prosecution’s investigation. But if the prosecution is influenced by his words, it will become an obstacle to its independence and political neutrality.
After Mr. Roh’s speech, the prosecution received two “reflection statements” from Mr. Song. On Oct. 15, Mr. Song declared his departure from North Korea’s Workers’ Party and his intention to give up his German nationality. But he said that he decided to leave the Workers’ Party to “live a border rider’s life with a sense of balance.” He made clear that he did not intend to convert from communism. The prosecution decided that it was not sufficient grounds for leniency. Two days later, Mr. Song submitted another statement claiming that his intention to abide by the South Korean law meant that he has chosen the South Korean system. After that, the prosecution said that it will handle his case with leniency only if Mr. Song admits he was an alternate member of the Politburo.
It seems that the prosecution has set the level of reflection and asked Mr. Song to write a statement matching it. We wonder whether the prosecution is making a deal with a suspect. If he wants to restore his Korean identity, Mr. Song should stop playing with words. As an intellectual, he has to make a sincere reflection on his past deeds. It is not too late to decide after Mr. Song reflects on his mistakes sincerely and decides to be a member of our society.