Sunday, August 6, 2017

Kim Jong-hoon, an independent South Korean National Assembly member, in a recent interview with ZoominKorea.

Democracy and Class Struggle welcomes the progressive forces in South Korea coming together for Peace and Progress in the New People's Party

The preparatory committee of the New People’s Party (Sae-minjung-jeong-dang)–a working title that may change after merging with other existing progressive parties–represents a broad united front of diverse sectors, most notably the Korean Peasants League and sections of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. 

It plans to launch the new party in late September.

Here is a part of an interview from ZoominKorea with Kin Joon-hoon

ZoominKorea: Reactionary forces were quick to respond to the formation of the new party by characterizing it as a revival of the outlawed Unified Progressive Party. 

How will the new party defend against political repression/reactionary attacks?

Kim: Progressives in South Korea are perhaps fated to be condemned as ‘pro-North’ or as ‘communist sympathizers.’ 

That’s because of the continued presence of the reactionary forces that parasitically thrive off of the system of national division. 

They only talk of ‘national security.’ 

No matter how outstanding our politics and practice, we will always be branded and attacked as ‘pro-North’ forces as long as we fail to resolve the division of the Korean peninsula. 

That’s why we will concentrate our forces to resolve the problem of national division, which is fundamental to the major problems of our society. Eradicating the deep-rooted ills that stem from national division is critical to the class struggle in South Korea and efforts to improve the lives of workers and ordinary people.

ZoominKorea: How do you foresee the party supporting the struggle against the THAAD deployment?

Kim: The THAAD deployment issue boils down to a question of how we will create a peace system on the Korean peninsula. Conducting a proper environmental impact assessment and calculating the economic costs China’s retaliation are important, but they are not the fundamental issue. 

If the Moon Jae-in government participates in U.S. sanctions against North Korea and maintains South Korea’s subservience to the United States, it cannot ultimately reverse the THAAD deployment. 

The Moon administration needs to have faith in the people, correctly assess the changing geo-political conditions on the Korean peninsula, and work to create a new order in Northeast Asia.

By standing resolutely in solidarity with the Seongju residents for the past year, we have gained their trust. The Seongju/Gimcheon residents and the Won Buddhists have emerged strong as the main driving force in this fight. 

The South Korean people who raised their candles to oust Park Geun-hye demand peace on the Korean peninsula and oppose the THAAD deployment. 

We will continue to fight alongside the people to make sure the candles that burned for Park’s impeachment will reignite as flames for sovereignty.

ZoominKorea: What role does this new progressive party play in the movement for peace and reunification moving forward?

Kim: The Trump administration has abandoned Obama’s ‘strategic patience’ and has introduced a new North Korea policy called ‘maximum press and engagement.’ 

This is apparently a strategy to use through threats and pressure to coerce North Korea to negotiate for denuclearization — which is not much different from the policy of the previous administration.

In order to resolve the U.S.-North Korea crisis, one must first recognize North Korea as a partner for dialogue. 

It’s contradictory to say it wants to talk with North Korea while at the same time pursuing a policy of hostility. 

Genuine talks to normalize U.S.-North Korea relations will only be possible through a simultaneous freeze of the U.S.-South Korean war games and the North Korean nuclear and missiles tests.

In terms of North-South relations, the interests of the Korean people should be the primary determinant, and we need to restore trust and prepare for unification. 

The Moon administration needs to make the practical choice and the resolute decision to pave the way for national unity and co-prosperity. 

The New People’s Party (tentative name) will devote our resources to realizing a Peace Treaty on the Korean peninsula and self-reliant reunification.


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