[EDITORIALS]Keep our society juche-freeThe North Korean propaganda offensive through the Internet is getting stronger. The North’s Kim Il Sung Broadcast University has recently opened an Internet site with the sole purpose of spreading juche, or self-reliance, ideology. Now, it is possible for people to listen to lectures on juche sitting comfortably in their capitalist homes. North Korea has been using the tactics of harassing the South through cyberspace by opening pro-North Korea Web sites overseas beginning four years ago. It is worrisome now, since the techniques the North uses in cyberspace are getting more sophisticated and bold, including using video footage.
There is a group of people in our society who see that as no particular problem because of the maturity of our society. But there is a clear difference between freedom of thought of individuals and North Korea’s subversive operations against the South. We shouldn’t ignore plots to undermine our system. Most serious of all is that youth with weak judgement and immature mentalities could accommodate the falsehoods and lies carried in the Web site as facts and the truth when they are exposed to such sites often. In that sense, we have to block their contacts to Kim Il Sung Broadcast University’s sites.
The North’s propaganda offensive is a statement that it is still not interested in peaceful co-existence between the South and the North. The propaganda plot is in violation of the inter-Korean basic agreements, and it doesn’t fit the spirit of the North-South Joint Declaration of June 2000. While persistently demanding the repeal of our National Security Law, the North launches ideological offensives through the Internet. It is clear that they intend to overthrow our system. The North has a guideline that “the Internet is a special space where the National Security Law is powerless.”
The Internet offensive is an issue separate from freedom of ideology and expression, because its content is not ideology but propaganda to brainwash others. If the government fails to establish countermeasures to cope with the propaganda offensives, we can’t call it a government. Considering the nature of the Internet and our political and social system, it will not be easy to provide effective countermeasures. But multiple measures, including making an end to such activities a condition for aid should be used. We have to keep our society sound and healthy.