NAPSNet Daily Report Friday, July 06, 2007
I. ROK Weekly Report
ROK WEEKLY REPORT (“ROK CANDIDATES ON DEFENSE AND DIPLOMACY”, 2007-07-06) On Tuesday June 19, five presidential candidates of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) promoted their policies on defense, unification, and diplomacy during the party’s third primary debate. Former Seoul mayor Lee Myungbak, former GNP leader Park Geunhye, and Hong Joonpyo criticized previous Sunshine Policy and stressed the importance of solving DPRK’s nuclear issue, while Won Heeryong and Go Jinhwa departed from GNP’s stance regarding this issue. All candidates excluding Hong underlined the importance of managing amiable relationship with the U.S., whereas Hong called for substantial independence.
2. Park Geunhye
(“Park Geunhye calls for principled engagement”, 2007-06-19) Former GNP leader Park Geunhye suggested a DPRK policy with a reciprocal approach based on principle. She criticized that although she agrees with the aim of the June 15, 2000 Joint Declaration to make the DPRK a responsible member of global society through dialogue and cooperation, because it was not a policy with a reciprocal approach based on principles, it let the DPRK develop nuclear weapons and close its doors. She also mentioned that although in the long run, the two Koreas must become a unified economic community through exchange and cooperation, but in the current situation, solving the DPRK’s nuclear issue has first importance.
3. Lee Myungbak
(“Lee offers DPRK a per capita GDP of $3,000 in 10 years”, 2007-06-19) Former Seoul Mayor Lee Myungbak criticized the current administration’s unconditional economic and humanitarian aid and claimed the ROK must help the economic development of the communist nation instead of providing exhaustive support. He suggested that if DPRK abandons its nuclear weapons, the ROK would help them achieve a national per capita income of $3,000 within 10 years. He claimed that it would be possible through aggressive aid in collaboration with the international community – once Washington first remove Pyongyang from its terror-sponsoring nation – but Park criticized this plan that, in order to receive the help of international community, the DPRK must recover its trust from the international community, but it would be very difficult. Lee added that the DPRK had asked to reach $5,000 and stressed the fact that DPRK has shown interest in this plan. Lee also stated he would make a meeting place for dispersed families at the DMZ since this way, DPRK would not need to feel uncomfortable for coming down South, it would save a lot of costs, and more people would be able to meet their separated families.
4. Hong Joonpyo
(“Hong calls for substantial independence from the U.S.”, 2007-06-19) Hong Joonpyo stated that current independence from the U.S. is only perfunctory and called for substantial independence while maintaining an amicable relationship with the U.S. He also stressed the importance of clearing the history issue with China and protecting the DPRK from being taken in by the PRC after the collapse of the DPRK’s current regime. He also mentioned the Banco Delta Asia agreement can work as a key to solving DPRK’s nuclear issue in the future.
5. Go Jinhwa
(“Go calls for an agreed peace policy”, 2007-06-19) Go Jinhwa mentioned the complete defeat of the Republican hard-line policy in the U.S. and claimed industrialism and other old ideologies must disappear. Regarding the policies on the DPRK, he criticized the GNP’s unclear status on the issue and claimed the GNP must make a decision on whether to go for peace or not. He also stated that the Korean peninsula must be unified through peaceful policies and in order to do so, an agreed peace policy must be prepared.
6. Won Heeryong
(“Won claims hunger issues are of primary importance”, 2007-06-19) Whereas most other candidates focused on the importance of solving DPRK’s nuclear and economic issues, Won Heeryong claimed hunger issues are of primary importance for the DPRK. He stated the DPRK’s current system has already collapsed, and in the end the DPRK has no other choice but to reach out to the international community. However, those issues take an excessively long amount of time, so the DPRK’s hunger issues must be first solved to alleviate their worries of becoming second-class citizens after unification.