The purpose of the North Korea democratization movement is so that the core of democracy would be realized, which is the principle that sovereignty resides in the people, in North Korea too. Therefore, the number one principle and the purpose of North Korea democratization movement from the beginning to the end is the realization of independent rights and demands.
The North Korean people are inevitably the other half with whom we must walk the path of destiny with. However, we do not have to walk the walk with the North Korean government or the Kim Jong Il regime. Neither the North Korean government nor the North Korean regime was established according to the will of the North Korean people nor has it ever followed the demands of their own people. Therefore, we must not think of the North Korean government and the regime as a multiple political party. We must understand the fundamentally contradicting nature of the Kim Jong Il dictatorial regime in its extremity.
In the case where people feel alienated or offended by the North Korean people, it is easy for those people to harbor anti-North Korean sentiments. This is the result of an obsession with the thought of a divided Korea, a nationalism that excludes North Korea. Those people are unable to separate the North Korean people from the North Korean government or the Kim Jong Il regime.
North Korea is not a subject for foreign relations. Clearly, under the reality where our nation is divided into two, managing and coping with North Korea is inevitably necessary for South Korea to pursue peace and reunification with North Korea. However, we must not think of South Korea’s relationship with North Korea as foreign relations. Generally, ‘foreign relations’ are formed under the premise that relationships are built among nation-states, the union of people, government, and politics. However, conceptually and realistically, current North Korea does not meet these requirements.
If we think of North Korea as part of our country instead of thinking of it as a neighboring or foreign country, any crisis or human rights violations taking place in North Korea becomes a domestic problem. Approaching problems occurring in North Korea is not interfering in another country’s domestic affairs. Just as people of other provinces had rights and responsibility to care about the people of Kwangju in 1980s, South Korean people must have rights and responsibilities to care about what’s happening with North Korean people.
The North Korean democratization movement aims to overthrow the Kim Jong Il regime and establish a democratic government, to democratize politics, economics, and all parts of the North Korean society. Here, our challenging task is to clean out remnants of the dictatorship deeply embedded in North Korean society. Presently, all the power and rights are centered with Kim Jong Il. Therefore, once the Kim Jong Il regime is toppled, all the power and system that maintains the regime will collapse, which will lead North Korea to be weakened and possibly turn into mass chaos.
The North Korean democratization movement signifies the entire process of the establishment of democracy in North Korea, including establishment of democracy after the overthrow of the Kim Jong Il regime, economic development under a democratic government, and stabilizing the democratic system for it to become a valid participant in international relations and cooperation. Therefore, the North Korean democratic movement has a positive effect on leading the two Koreas towards the reunification but it cannot be considered as a reunification movement.
In order to solve the problem of North Korea in a rational and scientific way, we must approach the problem by the perspective of the North Korean people. The most important matter is whether or not the North Korean people can be liberated from all past oppression and the dictatorship and whether or not they can enjoy human rights and democratic rights as other contemporary people in the world. Other problems such as reliving tension from the two Koreas or reunification are secondary. This is because all these problems will become predictable and solvable once the North Korean people are able to decide their future.