[EDITORIALS]Clarification neededA political party that gains power by appealing to the people and earning their votes should at a minimum implement its responsibilities and duties to these people. Yet the recent behavior that the Democratic Labor Party has shown can hardly be called that of a responsible party. A party leader has been indicted under charges of espionage and investigating authorities think that there are yet more party members involved in these charges. The Democratic Labor Party, however, has not issued any public statements on the matter. Party spokesman Park Yong-jin has dismissed the charges as “yet unproven.” If so, we cannot but ask if the party has done anything to find out what the truth is. The Democratic Labor Party is not upholding its responsibility as a political party if it plans to wait until the truth is established in court.
The party is no longer an underground group. It is an officially established political party that won approximately 13 percent of the votes for proportional representation in the last general elections. The party owes it to the people who voted for it to reveal the truth and give an explanation for it.
Not only has the Democratic Labor Party refused to release an official statement, it has denounced this case on its Web site as an oppression by the authorities. It is currently organizing a rally to call for an apology from the prosecution and the National Intelligence Service. If this is the truth the Democratic Labor Party wants, then it is a cowardly truth. If this case has been fabricated as it claims, then the party should provide the evidence of such. If not, then the actions of the party are merely maneuvers to cloud the judgment of people and to obstruct investigation of the espionage charges.
The charges that this party leader swore an oath of loyalty to the North Korean government, that he delivered classified information to Pyongyang and that North Korea interfered in the activities of a South Korean civic group and political party are all issues that the party must clarify. The party claims that it is yet unready to clarify these issues because the party members have yet to come to an agreement. One of the two factions in the party, the People’s Democratic faction, stands critical of the party members charged with espionage while the National Liberation faction sympathizes with them. To participate in today’s politics with such outdated ideologies is of itself reason for public concern. If the Democratic Labor Party is a responsible party, then it should explain how it is different from the pro-North groups of the past and where it stands on North Korea.