On TV, UPP rep gets vague on North
The two factions are battling for control of the party - both have appointed leadership councils - and battling over whether proportional representatives to the National Assembly selected in a primary should forfeit their positions. The smaller faction says the primary was rigged, an allegation which the larger faction denies.
t the end of the debate with two other politicians and a political commentator, a woman in the audience was given a chance to ask a question. She was identified as Hong Ji-yeong and said she was an office worker.
“Many people have questions on the allegations about the UPP’s largest faction’s pro-North position,” Hong said. “Tell us your exact position on North Korea’s human rights, the third-generation dynastic succession and its nuclear weapons program.”
“It’s really a shame that a ‘color debate’ [anti-communist attack] is re-emerging and the term ‘pro-North’ lingers on, which was started during the military dictatorships when the two Koreas confronted each other,” Lee said. “It’s suffocating the freedom of thought and ideology and I think this kind of question and logic has a lot of problems.
“When I visited Pyongyang, I felt the city was gray-colored,” he continued. “As a liberal activist, I was really shocked. We need to see North Korea as it is, based on brotherhood and as a partner for unification.”
The questioner wasn’t satisfied and demanded a more specific answer. “Lee is evading the question,” she said.
Chin Jung-kwon, a political commentator who participated in the debate, also urged Lee to answer the question.
Still, Lee was vague.
“The question on these three issues gets simplified into whether it’s right to develop inter-Korean relations peacefully or worsen them,” Lee said. “The question itself is wrong.”
Lee Seok-gi, the de facto leader of the Gyeonggi Dongbu Alliance, was elected a proportional candidate in the controversial primary in March. He recently said on a TV talk show, “The problem is not pro-North ideology, but pro-U.S.”
By Kim Hee-jin [email@example.com]