Mt. Geumgang Incident Is Intentional Provocation

It is alleged that North Korea is suppressing by intent the truth of the Park Wang Ja incident because the Northern explanation contradicts the witness statements of South Korean tourists.

Taking all the witness evidence collectively, the time of death of Park Wang Ja, and the number of shots insisted upon by the North are obviously doubtful.

Why doesn’t North Korea reveal the truth of the incident adequately? North Korea is arousing suspicion while refusing to allow a South Korean on-site examination.

One of Ms. Park’s tour guides, an employee of Hyundai Asan, said to the South Korean media that “The reaction of the North was unusual. When something comes up with our tourists, the North used to detain them and contact us. But, I can’t understand their attitude this time.”

According to the claims of the North, the soldier fired blank cartridges as a warning, but the two witnesses testify that they heard just two gunshots in a 10 seconds interval. It is therefore implied that this incident would not likely have happened by accident, but was a deliberately planned and intended provocation.

If the incident were an unplanned one, North Korea would have received the suggestion of a joint finding-fact team by the South Korean administration. The North’s intent seems to be to deliver a strong “message” to the Lee Myung Bak administration while concealing the complete truth of the incident.

Huh Moon Young, senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification, analyzed on the 15th in a telephone interview with the Daily NK that “It is not a chance occurrence, but a deliberate assassination because a regular soldier cannot fire on his own authority according to the characteristics of the North Korean system.”

Due to antipathy towards the Lee administration’s policy towards North Korea

Researcher Huh said that “Control over soldiers at the Mt. Geumgang Tourist Zone would not be loose enough that a regular soldier could make mischief by himself. This is because Mt. Geumgang is an important source of funds for North Korea. If they only wanted money through the Mt. Geumgang tours and this incident were an accident, all they needed to do was just apologize and promise to prevent recurrence of this kind of accident. However, North Korea shifted the blame onto the South in an uncompromising manner.

Regarding the intent behind the shooting incident, in his analysis, “North Korea expressed its discontent with the Lee administration’s policy. Specifically, North Korea anticipated that President Lee, after launching its administration, would implement some of the October 4 Agreement, but instead he has been focusing on emphasizing the U.S. alliance.”

Huh forecasted that “Now, North Korea is building good relations with the U.S. and China while isolating South Korea. As long as they can receive food and fertilizer from the U.S. and China, the North will stick with those tactics, “communicating with the U.S. while isolating South Korea.”

“Seventy percent of officials of the United Front Department who were in charge of foreign affairs with South Korea were expelled from their positions early this year. It seemed to be an initiative step for taming the Lee administration and controlling the South’s policy. This shooting incident was also in accordance with the actions of North Korea,” Huh explained.

Yoo Ho Yul, a professor of North Korean Studies at Korea University, said that “North Korean people should evaluate even daily talks through regular political evaluation meetings. Firing a gun by incident is impossible. The plans, a code of conduct, and regulations would have been set up in advance.”

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