[EDITORIALS]Spy case may destroy party

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[EDITORIALS]Spy case may destroy party

Amid the tensions caused by the recent North Korean nuclear test and the increasing concerns about national security, an incident in which people who participated in past student movements have now been involved in a possible case of espionage involving the North is truly shocking. According to authorities, former officials of the Democratic Labor Party are currently under investigation on possible charges of spying. In addition, a current senior official of the party is linked to the incident.
Since the former Kim Dae-jung administration, when our ideological armor started to crumble, the news that security authorities had caught a spy was really “news.” There was always the belief that people linked to the North were trying to shake the South’s foundations. Nevertheless, the security authorities just stood by, doing nothing. In the end, our concerns have become reality.
The current incident bears special meaning. Most of the people that are suspected of spying activities were involved in student movements during the mid-’80s. During the ’80s and ’90s college campuses were flooded with the North’s Juche ideology, a virus that heavily infected college students. A student faction, a splinter organization of the so-called National Liberation group, that adhered to this particular ideology studied and worshipped the ideology, and argued for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
That National Liberation group infiltrated various student organizations’ leadership. Many of those who were educated by these student organizations and took part in student movements initiated by these organizations became players in key parts of the Roh administration. Security authorities have to find out what connections the suspects have with officials in political and power circles, and also who took part in the student movement in the ’80s.
The recent incident has revealed that former and current officials of the Democratic Labor Party are involved in this case. This is an issue that could become a death sentence for the Democratic Labor Party. The party itself has staged protests in front of the National Intelligence Service arguing that the case is fabricated. Protesters also argued for the abolishment of the National Security Law. How can one argue that the incident was fabricated under an administration such as the current one?
No political party can exist outside national security. The Democratic Labor Party has to reflect upon itself, find the internal “red” part and apologize to the people.
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