[EDITORIALS]An insincere apologyThe Democratic Labor Party has apologized for its senior members involved in an espionage case. The apology came after one week after the results of an investigation into Ilsimhoe and almost 50 days after it first became known. The content of the apology is also confusing. It is hard to tell if the party wanted to give a sincere apology or to condemn the prosecutors’ investigating. The party had five clauses in its statement of apology. As late as the fourth clause is the expression, “We regret that we made people concerned.” One gets the impression that the party pretended to make an apology due to criticism from the public. The announcement began by saying inhumane acts to misuse the National Security Law to oppress freedom of ideologies and conscience should not be conducted, and the party would do something about them.
Conducting espionage activities for North Korea is not fulfilling one’s freedom to choose ideologies or to follow one’s conscience. To arrest spies is not an inhumane act. We wonder what the Democratic Labor Party wanted to say with this argument. We wonder if the party wants espionage to be allowed.
On the party’s Web site, the news about this announcement appears in a corner where people can hardly notice it. A letter from Lee Jeong-hoon, the party member who is in confinement on a charge of espionage stands out, even featuring his photo. It is worrisome that the party’s announcement is in line with Mr. Lee’s logic. He wrote that the government does not allow the ideology that half of our same nationals regard as everyday philosophy and that the Constitution of the Republic of Korea is cowardly.
Although he did not write the term juche, it is the same as saying he believes in the juche ideology.
The party also did not mention any specifics on the charges. It did not deny them either. The Democratic Labor Party says it will do its best to clear suspicion and uncover the truth. It is hard to believe the party wants to investigate the case when it fails to make a decent apology. We wonder if the party will still ask for more votes from people.
A left-wing party is not the only problem. The government also acknowledges people who were sentenced for espionage as having worked for democratization. That means if one opposed military rule in the past, his or her pro-North Korean activities can be acknowledged as democratic movement activities. Does that mean that everyone who was loyal to North Korea’s regime helped the democratization of our country?