Dealing with pro-North activistsRo Su-hui, vice chairman of the Pan-Korean Alliance for Unification, was arrested immediately after he crossed the border following an unauthorized visit to North Korea.
Police and prosecutors raided his office and home and began questioning on charges of violating the National Security Law that bans unauthorized visits to North Korea and association with North Koreans.
Ro, who stayed in North Korea for 104 days, unquestionably broke the law, and his arrest should not be used for political purposes.
Ro entered North Korean territory to attend a memorial service for former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on March 24.
During his stay in the North Korea, he participated in various propaganda events and laid a flower on Kim’s portrait inscribed with “Forever Lives Our Great Leader Kim Jong-il.” He also met with the head of North Korea’s top party executive committee, Kim Yong-nam.
While in the North, Kim criticized the South Korean government and said he apologized on behalf of Lee Myung-bak for disrespect to North Koreans.
Ro’s activities have been glorified by pro-North Korean activist groups and North Koreans as part of endeavors to unite the two Koreas. His actions in fact only deepen the divide between the two Koreas and could further strain inter-Korean relations.
Law enforcement authorities will investigate Ro and likely extend their probe to his organization. They suspect Ro visited the North and acted on the orders of the organization.
Some even suspect that Ro may have visited to receive orders from Pyongyang to disrupt South Korean society ahead of the presidential election in December.
Law enforcement officials should find out exactly what Ro did in North Korea and the real intention of his visit.
His organization was added to a watchlist by the Supreme Court in 1997, but nevertheless, it has been active in supporting the Pyongyang regime ever since.
Our society should not tolerate an organization that misleads the public and attempts to unsettle society under the pretext of unification. The authorities must work hard to show that our country will deal fairly, but strongly, with groups that support North Korea.