by WorldTribune Staff, May 30, 2017
North Korea expressed outrage that the new leftist government in South Korea is considering continuing a unification panel set up by former President Park Geun-Hye, based in part on plans adopted for the reuniting of East and West Germany.
On May 22, an official with the newly launched government of President Moon Jae-In indicated the possibility of keeping the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation.
“There come out opinions that the committee’s functions and roles need to be maintained in consideration of the idea that unification should be prepared for on a long-term basis,” the official said.
North Korea condemned the move, according to a May 30 Yonhap report.
“The move to maintain the committee, not dismantling it, is squarely against public sentiment expressed by candlelight rallies calling for Park’s impeachment in the South,” the Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary.
“The incumbent South Korean authorities are raising great concerns at home and abroad as they are trying to keep intact the puppet the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, which (former President) Park Geun-Hye had cooked up and exploited for impure purposes, by changing its names only,”
The paper said the committee “should be naturally dissolved,” insisting that it had harmed national reconciliation and unity and extremely intensified mistrust and confrontation between the two Koreas.
In July 2014, Park launched the 50-member committee, participated in by unification-related ministers and state-run and private think tanks, saying that inter-Korean unification would be a “bonanza” for the two Koreas and a blessing for their neighbors, the Yonhap report said.
The North reacted angrily to the panel’s launch, claiming it is intended to absorb the North under the cloak of unification.
“The identity of the committee, which encourages confrontation between the two systems, will never be changed simply by changing its name or direction,” Rodong Sinmun said.
The committee will continuously belch out “poison of system confrontation” as long as its basic roles remain intact, the paper said.