Lies behind an inter-Korean celebration for independenceNext week, a North Korean delegation will arrive in Seoul to celebrate Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial rule. They will most likely smile and clink glasses with various South Koreans, government officials and civilians alike.
Yet, will these North Koreans honestly reflect the sentiments held by the North Korean people? In other words, can the North Korean people, who currently live under an abusive and tyrannical leadership, celebrate any form of independence, especially one that took place 60 years ago?
While I cannot speak on behalf of the North Korean people, it would seem difficult for those who have never had a taste of independence to celebrate it.
Indeed, next week’s celebrations will be enjoyed by the South Korean left-wing and the minions of the North Korean government, while the soccer teams of the two Koreas play in games that most North Koreans in all likelihood will not watch.
All Koreans should celebrate Korea’s independence from Japan’s atrocious colonial rule. However, celebrating it with a tyrannical regime ruins the spirit and meaning of an important day in Korean history.
The Japanese government and many of its citizens failed to treat Koreans in a humane manner. In North Korea, however, the atrocities are not caused by a foreign entity. Instead, a small group of Koreans are engaging in acts comparably atrocious to those committed by the Japanese, whether it’s torture, rape or murder.
What is worse is the North Korean leadership has been supported by the South Korean government and many of its people.
South Koreans have consecutively elected left-wing administrations that have strived to guarantee the survival of the very regime that prevents the North Korean people’s freedom. In addition, the elected governments have been reluctant to help North Korean refugees trapped in China or Vietnam, unless they sense heavy foreign media attention.
Meanwhile, most North Koreans have continued to starve under their leadership or attempted to escape toward the free world. As for those who have successfully reached South Korea, many of them have continued to suffer from tremendous difficulties in adjusting to life in a very different Korea, while receiving little help from their southern brethren.
Indeed, the term hanminjok has increasingly made hypocrites out of the South Korean left-wing and its leaders, who loathe Park Chung Hee but believe Kim Jong-il to be rational.
Before South Koreans sing their national anthem in tears next week, they should remember that they may be free today, but the Korean people as a whole are not, thanks to the brutal leaders in the North and their believers in the South.
by Mingi Hyun