Will Roh view propaganda?Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung said that South Korea will consider visiting the Arirang Festival during the summit meeting with North Korea because the Arirang performance is a show that the North has created and is very proud of.
The incumbent administration said there was a need to discuss North Korea’s demands, including resetting the Northern Limit Line, in the upcoming summit meeting, revealing its dangerous sense of security. It now says it will consider having President Roh Moo-hyun and South Korea’s delegation watch the large-scale gymnastics show. The theme of the show is clearly to promote North Korea’s regime. It is truly worrisome where the administration wants to lead the summit meeting.
The Arirang performance is a propaganda show to justify North Korea’s regime and idolize Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong-il. Even though this aspect has been softened, the core theme of the show hasn’t changed. Recent performances included songs titled “Our Guns” and “Military-first Arirang.” The final song of the show is praise to General Kim Il Sung and the lyrics go, “Bloodstains all over the ridges of Mount Jangbaek.” It is unbelievable that the South Korean president might see the show and applaud.
This is nothing new. The administration seems to be determined not to upset North Korea until its term ends. The incumbent administration’s North Korea policy is to defend North Korea, as seen in Minister Lee’s remark. It argues that South Koreans need to see the show because North Korea is proud of it. Apparently we should not mention human rights issues because North Korea does not want to and we need to provide aid because North Korea demands it. If this is the logic there is no need to hire talented people at the ministry or the National Intelligence Service. They simply can do as North Korea tells them. The South Korean government must wake up from its illusion about North Korea.
The South Korean government must have summit goals of easing military tension, such as resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue, and easing the hardship of North Korean residents. It is a waste of time to debate issues that cannot produce any tangible outcome but will certainly create conflict among South Koreans, such as the delegation watching the Arirang Festival. The government has suggested controversial ideas out of the blue without explaining any rationale, but this must change. Without transparency, it cannot earn the people’s support.