[EDITORIALS]No rush to rectify historySeveral government ministries are actively responding to President Roh Moo-hyun’s proposal to inquire into the historical truth and his urging that government agencies voluntarily confess any past wrongdoing.
The National Intelligence Service said it will form a special committee within its organization, and the governing Uri Party has proposed a special committee in the National Assembly.
There can be no opposition to rectifying distorted history, but it would be amateurish to pursue this project headlong.
First, it is highly questionable whether now is the right time for the public, the Blue House and the governing party to focus energy on inquiring into the past.
Once an inquiry starts, it would have an explosive and inflammatory effect on the country that might well be hard to control. We may well see the emergence of Korea’s version of the “Red Guards,” and its tools of power.
President Roh has explained that the inquiry into past history would be undertaken so that the country can find out the truth of our history and learn from it, but hostility is noticeable in some of the rhetoric used by the governing party and a few civic groups.
An inquiry into the past, underlined by the political motive of changing the privileged class by questioning their morality, will have enormous repercussions.
We would do well to heed Kim Woo-jeon, chairman of the Korea Liberation Association, who served as secretary to nationalist leader Kim Gu. Mr. Kim has advised that the political sector should not use this “national mission” for political purposes.
Mr. Kim asked that President Roh be a politician of a bigger magnitude, exercising “win-win” politics. The chairman of a group that should cry out for the purge of pro-Japanese forces urges win-win politics, while the president, who should stress win-win politics, pitches for a purge of pro-Japanese forces. What an ironic scene this makes.
When the president announced that he was delegating more powers to the prime minister, our expectations soared because it would free the president from bipartisan squabbling.
But did he take that measure so that he and his Blue House can focus on such a political game as the inquiry into history may be? History has taught us that rectifying the past through a political initiative can never succeed.