Note: This is going to be a long one. I hope your scroll finger is strong.
First, let's talk about Jeong first. As the Marmot has already pointed out in a fisk of a Korea times interview, Jeong is a jerk. Marmot's post is great reading and I highly recommend it. Here is one little piece of his fisking of the Jeong interview:
Aside from the Marmot's potty-mouth I fully agree."Now even if we don't give food aid, China will provide a significant part of the North's needs as it is quietly doing now. Maybe half of the North Korean population will perish but we will have the other half alive and very angry," he said.You want to see angry, Jeong? Wait until change finally does come, and talk to all those North Koreans forced to live in Hell because politicians like you thought it was cheaper to subsidize the gulags than to pay the costs of unification. Asshole.
Now, go read the rest and come back.
Are you back? Good. Let's continue.
While the people of North Korea may endure hardships more passively than those who lived under communism in eastern Europe (being more isolated and having no historical experience of freedom), thinking that they will take this crap forever is a fool's bet.
In the Times interview, Jeong said:
Despite the dire straits it is in, North Korea has kept itself afloat for more than a decade since the 1990s when the economy started skidding downhill, and Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun thinks he has an answer as to its secret of survival.
He claims it’s because the outside world has scant understanding of the psychology common among Asian Communist countries, where the traditional emphasis on perseverance has been coupled with the socialist camaraderie, seemingly giving its population an immunity to economic hardships.
Jeong's analysis here is wrong. I don't even have to tell you why since Jeong conveniently contradicts himself later in the same interview:
Its geographical location, being situated between China and Japan both of whom shudder at the thought of an exodus of refugees, means the Pyongyang regime can count on its neighbors support when the chips are down.
Now hold on a second. If the people of North Korea are happily humming their odes to the Dear Leader while pealing off pine bark for the evening's dinner, why would there be a problem of North Korean refugees? Could it be because North Koreans can't endure their lives the the worker's paradise?
Earth to Jeong Se-hyun; it's not your buddies in Pyongyang who are suffering under Kim Jong-il, it's the common people. Picture on right is from a hidden camera in North Korea.
So as we see, Jeong is at best insensitive to the plight of the North Korean people. He meets with Nork leaders in their cushy offices and then praises their perseverance. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans risk torture and death to escape the hellhole that Jeong's buddies in Pyeongyang have created.
Don't just take my word on it. Look at this report from Human Rights watch. Here are their recommendations to North Korea:
· North Korea should immediately cease its practice of punishing persons who leave its territory, and repeal all laws, decrees, rules and orders that authorize imprisonment, detention, forced labor, restricted residence, official discrimination, or any other sanction on this account. It should allow for international verification that this practice has ceased. All persons detained on this basis should be immediately released;
· North Korea should cease the practice of collective punishments generally, and in particular should cease the practice of punishing family members of persons who leave North Korea for China or for third countries;
· North Korea should release any non-residents it has detained in connection with activities aimed at assisting migrants and refugees from North Korea.
Now Jeong, if the people of North Korea were handling their hardships so well, then why do Kim Jong-il's boys have to imprison and torture asylum seekers? Why do they have threaten the families of defectors?
By now I hope it is clear that Jeong's positions in that interview are self-contradictory. The reason for that is simple; Jeong's entire mission is self-contradictory.
Let me put it another way. Jeong's little lies in that interview reveal the Big Lie of the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations; the Big Lie being that they seek peaceful reunification with North Korea. In fact, they do not.
Now here is the truth:
The Ministry of Unification is anti-unification. Jeong Se-hyun is anti-unification. Roh Moo-hyun is anti-unification.
I could type away about this seemingly obvious conclusion until I get cramps in my hands but I think with just provide a few formulae for you gentle reader(s).
First (we'll start simple)
1. Nation-states don't give up power voluntarily.
2. North Korea is a nation-state.
Therefore.....(stay with me here).
3. The North Korean government won't give up power voluntarily.
1. South Korea has twice the population of North Korea.
2. The people of North Korea are already voting against Kim Jeong-il with their feet.
3. The North Korean government would lose power under any real unification program except the North conquering the South.
Now, let's put two and two together:
1. The North Korean government won't give up power voluntarily.
2. The North Korean government would lose power under any real unification program except the North conquering the South.
Therefore......(I'm sure you saw this coming.)
3. The North Korean government will never agree to peaceful reunification.
Now this is where Jeong Se-hyun comes in.
1. The North Korean government will never agree to peaceful reunification.
2. The South Korean government is trying to help the North Korean government stay in power.
3. The South Korean government doesn't want reunification.
Frankly, this stuff is so obvious that anyone except a complete idiot or a member of Hanchongryon should be able to get it. The last South Korean president who actually wanted reunification in his lifetime was Kim Young-sam.
Why don't Jeong Se-hyun and his boss want reunification? The answer is also in the formulae that I wrote above. There are only two paths to reunification; war and the collapse of the Pyongyang government. Either of those would be disastrous for South Korea.
So, the Ministry of Unification does all it can to support the North Korean government and, in doing so, seeks to avoid the conditions that would make unification possible. So we have anti-unification projects like the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (which the Infidel wonderfully bashed in his blog). I already told why the Gaeseong project is anti-unification in a previous post.
There are legitimate policy reasons for the South Korean government to try to avoid unification. But knowing that neither government wants unification makes it hard to bare all that "we are one people" BS that we have to endure all the time.
It would be a lot easier to put up with if the Norks would just shut up and take the money.