[EDITORIALS]True colors exposedA visit to North Korea by a delegation from the Democratic Labor Party symbolizes all that’s wrong with the pro-North Korea, left-wing, anti-American forces in our society. They are part of our liberal democratic community and hence get the country’s protection. The Democratic Labor Party won a 13-percent share of the vote in the 2004 general election and has been given a government subsidy in accordance with that figure. Members are treated with respect. But what do they give back to their country? Is the Democratic Labor Party a part of the Republic of Korea or not?
The National Security Law exists for good reason. Student activists-turned-politicians involved in spying for the North have been unmasked and former and incumbent senior members of the Democratic Labor Party have been arrested. The party should repent these acts and agree to participate in the investigation. However, the former secretary general has called the National Security Law a “crazy dog” in a statement on the party’s Web site.
Even without this scandal over espionage, the Democratic Labor Party should not have visited the North, because it conducted a nuclear test. When stern punishment of the North is required, such a visit delivers the wrong message and North Korea could take advantage of the Democratic Labor Party to intensify conflicts between the right and left wing in the South. The visit to Kaesong by Kim Geun-tae, the chairman of the governing Uri Party, was a similar case, but the Democratic Labor Party sent 13 people to North Korea. What people feared would happen has now occurred; some South Korean politicians are giving comfort to the North. In a statement released on his arrival in Pyongyang, Party Chairman Moon Sung-hyun criticized the U.S. and Japan but made only general remarks about North Korea. The Democratic Labor Party says it expressed regrets about the nuclear test in a private meeting with the Korean Social Democratic Party the next day, but that should have been highlighted in their public statement.
On the day they arrived, the delegation visited Mangyungdae, Kim Il Sung's birthplace. The delegation said this was a matter of courtesy but, if so, why did they hide the visit? South Koreans found out about it through North Korean TV. A nuclear test is an implied threat to wage war. After North Korea has conducted such a test, why should representatives of a South Korean political party visit the birthplace of a person who waged the Korean War? What are the true colors of the Democratic Labor Party?
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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