“Driving Force for Change in North Korea is the North Korean People”

[imText1]The reasons why the people reject or hold a reserved attitude towards North Korean democratization are the following:

One, they do not well informed regarding the current situation in North Korea; two, preoccupation with the theory that we must help North Korea follow the Chinese model for reform and liberalization, knowing for sure the collapse of the North Korean regime will bring a serious problem; and three, the argument that the people of North Korea must take the lead for North Korean democratization, but it does not help much to talk about it when they remain silent.

I will not discuss the first and the second reasons for I believe there will be opportunities for me to do so in the future. I will concentrate on the third reason, of which that even with detailed explanations of the Six Corps Incident where some tried to start a revolution from the military in 1990s or statements (through voice recorded tapes or fliers) of North Korea’s underground groups but such efforts are never thought to be real.

The Six Corps Incident was such a big incident itself where many died, sent to the gulags and ended up resigning from their military service with dishonor. It was so serious that Kim Jong Il was about to get rid of the Six Corps, but this incident is not even heard of in South Korea. This is because many tapes or fliers found in China or mailed to South Korean broadcasters are suspect of their reliability.

However, the video clip obtained by the Citizen’s Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees and reported by The DailyNK, in which Young People’s League for Freedom reads their statement, is different from previous evidence. The video clip shows someone had recorded declarations posted on 1.17 Factory in Huiryung and at the entrance of Daedukri town in North Hamkyung province. Certainly, in a society so strictly inspected and controlled such as North Korea, it would be unimaginable for someone to walk out with a video camera and freely record declarations posted in open areas. It must have been one of the members of Young People’s League for Freedom or someone with the certain intention of posting the declaration, reading it, and having it recorded. Therefore what we see on the clip is certainly not what is widely happening across North Korea.

However, the very fact that this kind of declarations were posted and read out to be recorded in open areas inside North Korean territory still holds great significance. This is because evidence exists of a democratization movement inside North Korea, which also provides an opportunity for the people in South Korea and the international society to rethink the North Korean problem. Furthermore, this kind of video clip will engrave s deep impression of the North Korean defectors currently residing in China

“The North Korean Problem will Cause a Serious Policy Conflict”

In regards to the North Korean problem, we can predict there will be much conflict in the following number of years in deciding which strategies and what policies must be held by South Korea government. Although it may be pretty serious to South Korea, the North Korea matter will also be pretty serious to the U.S., Japan, and China without exception. This is because North Korea involves a number of complex factors. The huge storm including military confrontation will bring an evaluation of oppressive policy, evaluation of reconciliation and an open policy towards North Korea, and inter-Korean relations.

In any case, the core of all the strategies and policies must be that the North Korean people are human beings with autonomy and dignity. This will declare to the world that the North Korean people are no longer slaves of Kim Jong Il, but individual human beings with autonomy and dignity. In this case, the people of North Korea will be able to clearly grasp the perception of their own being.

There is a saying “Heaven helps those who help themselves.” Perhaps North Korea could be liberated and become rich through the assistance of the U.S., China, South Korea, or some coincidental factors. However, fundamentally, North Korea’s primary force for the quality development in North Korean society lies in the autonomy of the North Korean people, which is only obtainable through their own ceaseless strife for democratization to get out of the state of slavery.