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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kyunghyang Sinmun on the 5th anniversary of 6.15

Kyunghyang Sinmun shows in its editorial (or is it called leader?) that the progressive press is also able to call a spade a spade (awkward translations and wordings all mine):
The southern and northern civic representatives gave yesterday a "Declaration of national unification" (Minjok t'ongil sônôn) on the 5th anniversary of the South-North declaration of June 15.
The South-North representatives declared that the wish of our nation is to live and prosper side by side as one people and cooperate and remove the danger of nuclear war. The South and the North emphasized that the intention of the June 15 declaration was to make the Korean peninsula into a place of peaceful life based on reconciliation and cooperation. The South and the North have not forgotten this promise. The fact that both sides can reach such agreement carries the meaning of the 5th anniversary.

But unfortunately it is impossible to avoid feeling emptiness in this declaration. It is not possible to get an impression that the South and the North had taken the June 15 declaration as the basis of their policies and tried to implement it. For the five years South and North, especially North Korea has not been true to the spirit of June 15. Kim Jong-il has not kept his promise of a return visit. North Korea has cut off the South-North dialogue for a reason unacceptable for the South. In regard of the nuclear question, it has not recognized the existence or the role of the South.

During the five years, there has not been hardly any thing which could be solved "by ourselves." North Korea's has only expected that South Korea accept its demands as such and join it in confrontation with USA. This is not national cooperation (minjok kongjo). How could it be called such as it entails creating friction both between South and North and within South. National cooperation can not be realized if attitude for sitting down together and seeking a solution for the nuclear problem is lacking. But North Korea is only adhering itself to USA, and for that reason also South Korea also has had to adhere itself to the USA. This is not the way to go. What is North Korea going to do? Unfortunately we cannot but make this question one the 5th anniversary.

If on the other hand someone is interested in getting convinced that without the songun policy (DPRK term; "military first policy" in plainer English) the 2000 South-North summit and other great leaps forward wouldn't have been possible, please check this article in the always reliable The Voice of People.

Update June 27, 2005.

With the above editorial, Kyunghyang has called upon itself the wrath of the 조국평화통일위원회 ("Committee for the peaceful reunification of the fatherland") of DPRK. The secretariat (sôgiguk) of the committee released a statement, in which it lambasts in the name of the whole nation (on kyôreûi irûmûro) Donga Ilbo and Kyunghyang Sinmun for disparaging the idea of "among ourselves" (uri minjokkiri).
민족도 모르고 의리도 없는 이런 비뚤어진 심사를 가진 《동아일보》나 《경향신문》과 같은 반민족적이며 반통일적인 보수언론들은 앞으로 민족통일행사에 일체 참가할 자격조차 없다는것을 알아야 한다.

아울러 《한나라당》도 온 민족이 지켜본다는것을 명심하고 이번 축전과 관련하여 속이 뒤틀린 오만불손한 망발과 무분별한 소동에 매달리지 말아야 한다.

그러지 않을 경우 온 민족의 더 큰 저주와 규탄을 받게 될것이다.

주체94(2005)년 6월 22일
(emphasis AL)
"Anti-Korean and anti-unification conservative newspapers like Donga Ilbo and Kyunghyang Sinmun who don't what a nation is and have no sense of honor (ûiri) should know that from now on they are not welcome to participage in unification events." Ûiri? Quite interesting use of this word. Now has anyone been talking about a kkangp'ae kukka?

Don't know if Donga has reacted to this in any way, but Kyunghyang has responded to the criticism with a column by an editorial writer, mentioning largely the same things that were pointed out in the editorial.

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