[imText1]Kim Dae Jung, the former South Korean president finished his seven day trip to the US and returned to South Korea yesterday. Looking into the speeches DJ made during his trip, we soon discover his self-absorption has come to a serious level. During his visit to the US, DJ made speeches in various places including Asia Association, University of San Francisco, Stanford University. Since his speeches were pretty much the same from one to the other, let’s look into his key points without going through each of the speeches.
DJ stated, North Korean people now know that South Korea is richer because the food we went had “Republic of Korea” marked on every bag, they hope to live as well as South Koreans and South Korean TV soap operas and music recordings are secretly circulated across North Korea. DJ listed such things as the result of the Sunshine Policy and through this kind of policy we must win (North Korean) people’s hearts first. It is regretful to say that this is a complete illusion of DJ.
DJ’s Illogical Arguments, Astonishing
First of all, the list of phenomena occurring in North Korea, which DJ listed above, has nothing to do with the Sunshine Policy. In reality, during the severe food crisis, North Korea allowed marked food bags to enter North Korea because the situation was so bad that they were too busy opening the bags, and they did not even have time to look at the marks on the bags. Even if South Korea’s policy was “Storm Policy” or “Ice Policy” rather than Sunshine Policy, the result would have been the same.
Furthermore, according to the North Korean defectors’ unanimous testimonies, up until 2002, the time the Sunshine Policy reached a peak, North Korea took off the bags with Republic of Korea mark and changed them with North Korean bags before they distributed the food. It has been only 2 or 3 years that North Korean government allows foods with foreign marks to be circulated as they are.
Furthermore, there is not link between the Sunshine Policy and the fact that South Korean TV soap operas and music made their way into North Korea. All such musical or visual recordings flow into North Korean through Sino-Korean border. Rather, the Sunshine Policy prevented the phenomenon to spread nation wide by stopping the psychological war between the North and the South. His farfetched argument of making what he has prevented from happening as his own success is simply astonishing.
Unable to Calculate the Opportunity Cost
In addition, DJ argued, “After the South-North Summit Meeting in June 2000, 4000 North Korean people visited South Korea through family reunion, civilian visits, tour to Kumkang Mountain, and others. Such things greatly contributed to make the reality of South Korea known to the North Korean people.” This too, he claimed, is one of the success of the Sunshine Policy.
There is no doubt that whether it is the high level officials, national security officials and their family members, or completely brainwashed people, it is better to have people from the North visiting South Korea than not having anyone at all. However, would the impact of North Korean people coming to South Korea be bigger or South Korean people visiting the sets well prepared by the North Koreans at Kumkang Mountain and Pyonyang and return as they know the entire North Korea be bigger? It is the latter without a question.
Furthermore, South Korean government and many organizations paid a high price in “dollars” to have a couple thousand North Koreans visit South Korea. With Kumkang Mountain only, we are paying tremendous amount of money to North Korea. Calculating the opportunity cost we paid for the couple thousand people to visit South Korea and expect them to influence internal North Korea, the opportunity cost is much higher. “Dollars” we paid were used only for the regime maintenance. Is it that the founder of “people’s economy,” DJ, failed to do basic calculations? If he had used all that money for human rights movement and regime change in North Korea, the impact would have been much greater.
Illogical Examples With History Distortion
In addition, DJ does not hesitate to distort history and puzzle pieces however he wants. DJ sued China, Vietnam and Cuba as examples to explain how US tried to use isolationist policy, war and aggression against these countries but failed to improve their human rights situations. “(From these examples) We are able to understand the fact that pressure and criticisms do not have much impact in communist countries, but once we induce them to reformation and liberalization, we can achieve a great level of improvement in the regime.”
It is a nonsense to look at China and North Korea as same level. If DJ is a true winner of the Nobel Peace Prize then it would have been more correct for him to say, “Why does the US care about China’s human rights issues much more when North Korean human rights situation is the worst on the planet,” and criticize the US for its political and double standard human rights policy.
Furthermore, Chin and Vietnam are the examples of the countries who chose reformation and liberalization, not an example of a country induced to liberalize by outside assistance such as DJ’s Sunshine Policy which aims to “eventual change by giving.” Furthermore, in case of Cuba, although Castro has been ruling for a long time, there are no such serious human rights violations as in North Korea. At least in Cuba, people are not punished as national traitors by crossing over the national borders in search for food. Actually, in some aspects, the Cuban government creates Cuban refugees. I wonder what is the relationship between the Sunshine Policy and North Korea with other countries. Perhaps DJ was trying to show how knowledgeable he is, but he failed this time.
Do You Really Not Know Why North Korea is Like That?
DJ and the Sunshine Policy pursuers often say, “After the World War II, democratization and human rights problems in communist countries did not make progress by the outside criticisms.” I wonder how they can so boldly make such a false statement.
For example, during the 1980s, was it the Reagan administration that made Gorbachev to come into power and ultimately led the USSR collapse? It is clearly not true. Reagan labeled the USSR as ‘Evil Empire’ and progressed the SDI to put pressure on the Soviets and finally led them to a historical collapse. All those people watched the process so vividly, but why are they acting as if they do no know?
Some other statements made by DJ include US must first provide economic compensation and regime maintenance assurance to North Korea, North Korea’s goal is not nuclear weapons possession but an improvement of US-DPRK relations, and South Korea accepted all the North Korea defectors until now and other gibberish statements. At this point, there is no need to even respond, but ignore them by saying, “we can clearly see the level of DJ’s Sunshine Policy.”
According to Dong-A Ilbo report, about North Korea’s pull out of the six party talks and nuclear possession statement, DJ said, “I do not know why North Korea is acting like that,” to Ban Kim Moon the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Kim Sook, director of North America Department in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, when they visited him. How can you not know? This is what you have created!