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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Choi Jang-jip and national security law

Two notes on the row about the National Security Law (NSL) of the Republic of Korea; not really fitting of what this blog in general has been about, but these issues concern persons whom I admire and respect.
In addition to the decision that the novel Taebaek Sanmaek by Jo Jung-rae gives no reason to press charges on the basis of NSL (see my previous note below), Ohmynews tells that the prosecution has made the same decision concerning the book 한국 민주주의의 조건과 전망 (Conditions and Prospects of Korean Democracy) by Choi Jang-jip. In the case of professor Choi, the prosecution reached the conclusion quicker than in the case of Taebaek Sanmaek; it's been now seven years since a complaint was failed against Choi, while it took 11 years for the prosecution not to press charges against Mr Jo. Professor Choi was originally accused of describing the Korean War as a war for national liberation (minjok haebang chônjaeng) and of encouraging for laudation of DPRK. Seems that it stemmed from Choi simply presenting the DPRK view of the war, but not in his own view. Now the times are different, and it's just a one proof that the two Koreas are becoming even more different when publicly expressing as a personal opinion that Korean War was a war of liberation brings commie accusations for sure but doesn't make prosecutors busy. Here I'm referring to the one and only professor Kang Jeong-gu; here he recalls in one of his columns for the Roh Moo-hyun-minded Dailyseop the whole US-Korean history when arguing that Koh Gun (Ko Gôn) mustn't become the next president: "to understand the real character of the Korean modern history, one must not regard the conflict in the liberated Korea as just an extreme division between Koreans, as some presidential hopefulls are doing. It was rather a realization of the struggle for national sovereignty and liberation by Korean against United States, which had acted contrary to the demand of the national history (minjoksa) that the Koreans create their own society and history according to their wishes, and suppressed it by armed forces."
More Dailyseop columns by Kang Jeong-gu here.

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