A tainted holidayWhere is the end to the government’s policy of embracing the North? First, even though it only has a few months left, the government has not hesitated to put its stamp on inter-Korean projects designed to aid the North with price tags beyond imagination.
Now, it wants to designate June 15 as a national holiday, as agreed at the inter-Korean summit held in 2000. At the recent prime ministerial talks, even before a joint agreement was released, both sides publicly announced that they would hold a public hearing to discuss the matter. The participants scheduled to work at this hearing are all in favor of the establishment of a national holiday. This just reflects how little the government cares about the next administration.
A national holiday is a day in which the people have agreed that something needs to be honored. Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day are two such days.
There are also days designed to give support to special areas. Science Day is such a day. The 30 or so national holidays are all in line with these conditions.
However, June 15 lacks a public consensus.
The evaluations of that day by the public and by history are not yet finished. This issue has stirred up controversy. The people who support the idea of establishing a national holiday argue that June 15 has become the catalyst that provided the breakthrough in inter-Korean relations.
But others dismiss it as merely a cash-for-summit deal.
One must look especially at some of the agreements made then, which still need to be worked on and lack details.
One of them -- a clause that says the South’s proposal to have some sort of union and the North’s proposal to have a low-level confederacy, have common points.
Referring to this, North Korea is saying both Koreas have agreed on a way to unify. But without a meaningful resolution to the North Korean nuclear crisis, it is meaningless.
Despite this reality, this administration is acting like a deaf mule. It looks like the designation of a national holiday will be decided through a tainted public hearing. Without any regard for public sentiment or the judgment of the people, the government is planning to push through with this.
The government should not recklessly push forward. The least the government can do is to leave the decision making to the next administration.