Three Conditions of NK Reformation: Ryu Geun Il

[imText1]Ryu Geun Il, former editor-in-chief of the Daily Chosun, said on Saturday that the so called “Sunshine Policy” and call for inter-Korean nationalism did not lead North Korea’s reform but only South’s disarmament and dissolution.

In the 1st Hwang Jang Yop Democracy Ideology Forum held by the ‘Democratic Ideology Society,’ Ryu expressed his opinion on the sunshine policy while agreeing with Hwang, former NK international affairs secretary and president of the North Korean Democratization Alliance, on the necessity of North Korea’s change in order to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula and for the North Koreans to pursue happiness.

Ryu’s definition of ‘change in North Korea’ is to ‘end Kim Jong Il’s totalitarian dictatorship and his anti-reform, anti-human rights policies.’

The final destination is, Ryu said, North Korea’s transformation into a liberal democracy. Nevertheless, since China would never allow the U.S. and South Korean military presence on the Yalu River, Ryu added, one of the more realistic scenarios would be a Chinese-type reform government instead of Kim Jong Il’s totalitarian regime in Pyongyang while maintaining the division between the North and South.

“North Korea will be a buffer-zone between the U.S. and China. Although China’s strategic interest is guaranteed, it might be needed to station international peace keeping forces in North Korea to hold Chinese intervention into the Korean Peninsula in check,” Ryu said.

Also, Ryu suggested that within such framework, North Korea without Kim Jong Il would abandon WMD and pursue policies of reformation, market economy, foreign investment and improvement of people’s living conditions.

Lee Dong bok, another debater at the Forum and representative of the North Korean Democracy Forum, agreed with Hwang’s assertion to remove the Kim dictatorship in order to solve the fundamental problem of the Korean Peninsula.

Lee articulated three conditions of North Korea’s commencement of Chinese-type reformation and openness; end to the personal cult of Kim, establishment of the rule of law, and market economy.

“If the three conditions are not met,” Lee argued, “there cannot be real reform and openness, and the South Korean government, in cooperation with the U.S., must persuade Beijing to lead North Korea’s transformation.”