Break up the partyThe Democratic Labor Party is likely to split eight years after it was formed. A special committee was created after the party’s landslide defeat in the recent presidential election and the committee presented a set of reforms.
But the reform package was rejected by pro-North Korea members, leaving the party seriously wounded.
The reforms were drafted by a minority faction inside the party called the People’s Democracy faction, which is led by Shim Sang-jeong, a committee representative.
The reforms call for an end to the pursuit of North Korean ideology, highlighting the extent to which pro-North Korean forces have dominated the party’s composition since it was set up.
Shim said the party lost in the presidential election because the party is regarded as a party of union workers, student democracy activists and pro-North Korea activists.
Thus she called on the majority National Liberation faction in the DLP that holds pro-North Korea views to overhaul the party.
But members of the National Liberation group actually held signs that read, “The Democratic Labor Party must become even more pro-North Korea,” when the reforms were turned down. Some senior members even cheered on hearing the decision.
Moreover, the National Liberation bloc opposed kicking out members related to Ilsimhoe, a pro-North Korean group, from the party, saying it could not kneel before the National Security Law.
A person involved in the Ilsimhoe incident is currently in prison on charges of delivering classified documents containing the current status and policies of the DLP to the North. But this kind of attitude simply underlines the importance of the National Security Law.
If the party members claim the prisoner is a victim of the National Security Law, they don’t deserve protection under Korean law.
In addition, party members said they wanted the Korean Peninsula to be denuclearized. But they were unreasonably generous about North Korea’s nuclear test.
They claimed the testing was in self-defense and that North Korea’s nuclear arms will be ours if the two Koreas reunify.
These events leave the People’s Democracy faction at a crossroads.
It can bolt from the so-called progressive leftist movement, which adheres to North Korea’s self-reliance ideology.
But there is no reason it should hesitate when it has the chance and cause to create a progressive party in the truest sense.