Empty echoes

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Empty echoes

As the December presidential election gets nearer, North Korea has made an overt attempt to intervene.
Various state-run media in the North have been criticizing the Grand National Party.
“The Grand Nationals’ anti-North Korea stance and their inclination to war are growing fierce,” Radio Pyongyang claimed on Monday. “The South Korean people must fight against the Grand National Party.”
On Friday, Rodong Shinmun’s editorial also urged South Koreans to “aggressively engage in a struggle to stop the Grand National Party winning the election.”
On the same day, the joint celebration of the seventh anniversary of the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang was disrupted because North Korea refused to allow a Grand National lawmaker to sit on the podium.
This is not the first time that the North has tried to intervene in the South’s domestic politics.
Earlier last year, when the local elections took place, the North issued a joint New Year editorial via state-run media that said, “An an anti-conservative coalition must be established to stop the conservatives from gathering strength and challenging us.”
As the presidential election drew near, North Korea was kind enough to advise that “the Democratic Labor Party has only a slight chance, so vote for the Uri Party.”
This year, the North launched a blackmail campaign against a specific candidate, saying, “If Lee Myung-bak becomes president, the fires of war will explode.”
It is unclear what the North intends by intervening in the South’s election, but it is clear that any such attempts are useless.
South Korean voters will decide for themselves whether the Grand National Party is “a reactionary group, instigating war.”
It is an insult to the South Korean people that the North, which completely ignores democratic principles and the sovereignty of its people, dares to give advice to the South’s constituencies.
If some in the South are hoping to benefit from the North’s posturing, they must know they can only suffer from the backlash.
The North must wake up from its dream that it can influence the South’s election and humbly watch as South Korea celebrates its festival of democracy.
The North’s words of advice are nothing but an empty echo for South Korean voters.
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