[imText1]Leading figures of the New Right in South Korean society claim national policy ideas are nothing but misguided and unproven theory. The New Right includes people who believe in the pursuit of free markets, small government, and North Korean democratization.
The Zeitgeist, a quarterly magazine of the New Right, recently published an article on the round-table talks whose theme was “Criticism of Fanciful Progressive National Policy.” The article appeared in the 35th issue, published on May 29th. The participants concluded that the progressives’ theory is not a social science and is instead closer to fiction.
The participants were critical in stating “there is a big problem with leftists who try to solve every foreign problem by engaging the Kim Jong Il regime.” They emphasized that it is the time to introduce a new unification theory in which we propel North Korea to become a normal, sound state through the elimination of nuclear weapons and the regime’s inherent corruption.
Ahn Byung Jik, an honorary professor of Seoul National University was the moderator of the talk. Shin Ji Ho, the president of Liberty Union, Sungshin Women’s University Professor Kim Young Ho, and Sungkyunk Women’s University’s Professor Kim Il Young participated in the talk.
They agreed that the theory of independent diplomatic relations and national assistance between the North and South insisted upon by Roh’s progressive administration stemmed from the idea of denying ROK’s existence and modern history. By doing so, Roh attempted reform modeled on the socialist revolution. They concluded that the theory is an obstacle to Korean advancement because it neglects the international cooperation that helped South Korea modernize its society and develop its economy during the `70s and 80s.
Professor Kim Young Ho said “the progressives consider South Korea a disabled country. When we study their idea of changing Korea by socialist-style revolution, they exhibit a mindset that prioritizes the alliance with Kim Jong Il in the unification problem.”
Professor Kim Il Young said “the progressives completely ignore the achievements of South Korea in their insistence of first achieving peaceful coexistence by use of Sunshine Policy unification.” But he said “the peaceful-coexistence to which they refer is not with the North Korean people but with Kim Jong Il.”
Shin Ji Ho said the Sunshine Policy seeks only to placate the Kim Jong Il regime without any demands for the normalization of North Korea. The path for instituting North Korean normality and unification lies in the elimination of its nuclear capabilities.
Shin explained that “the new theory of unification is peace first, unification later.” Initial goals include an advancement of South Korean interests and the normalization of North Korea. Human rights and nuclear issues need to be addressed simultaneously in the normalization process.
He also offered an interesting theory for peace on the peninsula. While the Sunshine Policy pursues peace with a nuclear-armed military, that is, “nuclear power without nuclear war capability”, he suggested peace might be accomplished by the elimination of nuclear power itself from the entire peninsula, or “no nuclear power or war systems for either.”