North Korea’s Political Maneuver Possible before S. Korean Election

[imText1]“Grand National Party’s attempt to rule again is not only a domestic issue of South Korea but also one of peaceful reunification and life and death of the whole Korean nation.” (North Korea’s Fatherland Peace and Unification Committee, Jan. 4)

North Korea declared to intervene in South Korean presidential election of 2007, directing pro-Pyongyang South Koreans to form an ‘anti-conservative alliance.’

At a conference held at ROK National Assembly on March 22, participants discussed over possibility of North Korea’s political terrorism before the election and preventive measures.

Professor Lee Kwan-hee of South Korea’s National Police Academy argued “Chance of political terrorism is higher than ever in this election due to extreme polarization in Korean society.”

Lee said “North Korea, since it already officially announced its will to intervene in South Korea’s presidential election, is likely to cooperate with pro-North Korean organizations to promote anti-American ideology and Korean nationalism in order to influence this year’s election”
“If such attempt fails,” Lee continued warning “North Korea might even try to destroy the whole election by terrorist activities.”

According to the professor, North Korean regime has a number of experiences in terrorism and would never hesitate to use one in the future.

Hong Jin-pyo, another speaker and secretary-general of the Liberty Union, a leading ‘New-Right’ organization in Seoul, cautioned against danger of maneuver behind the scenes.

Hong reminded the audience of previous cases of 2002 election in which groundless accusation was followed by media coverage and then official condemnation by opposing candidate.

Hong also said “Current ruling party is fond of using extreme dichotomy of good and evil, depicting itself as good and weak. And such strategy is well working among those without clear ideology or preferred party.”

However, Hong analyzed that since South Korean public learned much about outcome of negative strategy in previous elections there would be no huge influence of it.

On current administration’s attempt to use inter-Korean negotiation in election, Hong quoted a recent poll in which 35.3 percent of participants thought leading GNP candidate Lee Myung-bak to be the best in achieving inter-Korean peace and reunification while only 8.5 percent supporting Chung Dong-yong, first among the ruling party’s candidates and former Unification Minister. “Ruling party’s hope to use reunification issue in the presidential election would be sheer misjudgment,” said Hong.

The third panelist Son Kwang-ju, managing editor of the Daily NK, argued that Kim Jong-Il preferred a candidate who could prolong the sunshine policy and inter-Korean cooperation and pacifist toward Pyongyang in 2007 election.