[EDITORIALS]Crocodile tears of Mokpo

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[EDITORIALS]Crocodile tears of Mokpo

Former President Kim Dae-jung is keeping himself busy in politics. On Saturday he gave a lecture at a university, an interview to the foreign media and then he visited his hometown Mokpo city, South Jeolla province.
At all three events he said that he would never intervene in current politics. It is hard to understand why he said this when he has been making more political moves than any other politician in the country.
In the past when he has re-entered politics he has used lectures to broadcast his opinions and visited his hometown to gain support.
Of course, there is no rule to ban him from politics. Many former presidents in other countries commit themselves to working for their countries and their people after retirement. However, Mr. Kim’s machinations raise concerns because they are divisive.
For example, he seems to take advantage of regionalism in order to cover his mistakes and failures of the past.
After North Korea conducted its nuclear test, he persisted with his claim that despite the provocative nature of the test South Koreans can live safely thanks to the Sunshine Policy.
In a visitors’ book at the office of South Jeolla province, he wrote “No Honam [Jeolla], No Country.” He belatedly added that it was a quotation of Yi Sun-sin, a famous admiral during the Joseon Dynasty, but his intention is clear: He was aiming to gather supporters from North and South Jeolla provinces.
Before becoming president, Mr. Kim was careful not to exploit regionalism explicitly. But now he sings a pop song titled “Tears of Mokpo” in front of thousands of people.
Is this only because he treasures and misses his hometown? Mr. Kim is not that innocent. He must have concluded that there was no other way for him to rally support to his corner. Mr. Kim points out the creation of the Uri Party by its separation from the Millennium Democratic Party was the beginning of a tragedy, but now the ruling Uri Party is divided into two groups, one for President Roh Moo-hyun and another for former President Kim Dae-jung.
As times change, policies from the past need to be reevaluated, revised and complemented. It is none of our business in what way the Uri Party changes. However, we cannot accept or forgive if the incumbent or former president mislead the country to make their agendas look benign when they are nothing of the sort.
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