[EDITORIALS]Propaganda blitzA four-day event to mark the 2000 inter-Korean summit meeting turned out to be an arena for promoting pro-North Korean and anti-U.S. sentiment. North Korean delegates cried out for mutual cooperation, a slogan that is used to divide South Koreans and provoke the anti-U.S. movement.
Comments by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Korean Government Employees’ Union featured statements about the military-oriented governing style that North Korea has pursued and even the lyrics of the North Korean national anthem. Placards with anti-U.S. messages were spotted in the meeting venue, including one that said we should cooperate to drive out the U.S. military from Korea and achieve reunification.
From the first day, the sixth-anniversary event served as a venue for North Korea’s propaganda to promote its reunification strategies. The spirit of reconciliation, such as mutual respect and no interference in the other’s domestic affairs, which was included in the June 15 Joint Declaration, could not be found at all.
This event has aroused skepticism about what “the spirit of June 15” actually means, because of remarks made by Ahn Kyung-ho, a leader of the North Korean delegation. He said if the Grand National Party took power, inter-Korean ties would deteriorate and a war would break out on the peninsula. How can this event be a celebration of the declaration, when a North Korean leader says things that crush its meaning?
A joint lecture by South and North Korean teachers was the most outrageous. Of course, we need to explain to students how tensions have been reduced thanks to the June 15 Joint Declaration. But saying, “Let’s take the Gyeonggi [rail] Line and go to Europe through Pyongyang,” without giving sufficient explanations about our security situation, such as the two Koreas confronting each other at the truce line, is just brainwashing to infuse illusions. Explanations of why North Korea cancelled the tests of the reconnected railroads should be given, in order for students to reach a conclusion.
This event became a North Korean propaganda show because the South Korean government has blindly embraced the North. Regarding Mr. Ahn’s remarks, Seoul reacted only with vague words of regret. This attitude has only encouraged Pyongyang to believe that it is the boss and to behave arrogantly. An event like this does only harm to South Korea. We wonder why this kind of event should be continued in the future.