Empty GNP gestures

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Empty GNP gestures

At the Constitution Day ceremony, National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyong-o proposed a dialogue between lawmakers from South and North Korea. Grand National Party floor leader Hong Joon-pyo made the same proposal on Monday. The two announcements confirm poor political sense among GNP leaders.

It is not the right time to make meaningless proposals. A South Korean tourist was shot to death by the North Korean military, and the North hasn’t responded to our call for an investigation into the case. What we need is North Korea’s cooperation in the investigation and an apology. Proposing a meeting of politicians from South and North Korea under these circumstances is naive at best and deceptive political maneuvering at worst.

If GNP members had an accurate understanding of the North Korean regime, they would not make such proposals. North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly members don’t represent North Koreans. It is hard to understand why South Korean politicians propose meeting with them to improve inter-Korean relations.

It has been proven that efforts by lawmakers from South and North Korea to meet are meaningless. These meetings have been attempted since 1985 when former President Chun Doo Hwan was in office. In the 2004 legislative elections when former President Roh Moo-hyun was in office, the Uri Party won the elections and formed a committee to pursue a meeting between the legislators of South and North Korea.

Shortly after the 2007 summit meeting with North Korea, then National Assembly Speaker Lim Chae-jung urged a meeting of legislators of South and North Korea to be held as soon as possible. However, nothing has been achieved so far. North Korea only made a political gesture, as if it was going to participate in such a meeting, but it didn’t. South Korean politicians have played along with this political show.

But this time, North Korea won’t even make a gesture. Recently, the North condemned President Lee Myung-bak’s proposal for dialogue. The North is brazen even after taking an innocent person’s life, but South Korean politicians keep proposing dialogue, hurting South Korean pride.

If the South’s politicians do this because they don’t know the North, they must study the regime. If they propose dialogue aware that the North won’t respond, they should remember that South Koreans won’t be fooled by attempts to look like they’re really doing something tangible with the North.
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