Who Changed Who?
There must be something contagious in Korea.
The South Korean Embassy has put out the text of the agreed “rules” for the upcoming
delivery of new instructions to southern cadres North-South summit, which a friend graciously sent me. It’s good fodder for reflecting on the Sunshine Policy, the legacy of which leftist President Roh Moo Hyun and tyrant Kim Jong Il would have us celebrate with them. So what is there to celebrate?
If there’s a new spirit of openness to be celebrated after a decade of massive wealth transfers to Kim Jong Il — or even a hint of it — it’s certainly not apparent in the rules that the North Korean Ministry of Public Security wrote for the occasion. What’s more apparent is that South Korea has acquired the habit of easy and casual acceptance of North Korean control. Want to do business here? Stay inside the fence, don’t talk to the workers or give them gifts, and listen to our creepy blaring propaganda. Want to meet your abducted relatives for a brief moment? Don’t expect them to speak freely. Want good relations with us? Silence our critics. Want our sports teams to visit you? Suppress all dissent and revere our Leader’s portrait as a sacred icon. Want our officials to visit you? Don’t let us see or hear any free speech. Want to visit us? Suspend the preparedness of your military and bow to our total control. And even then, as we will see, your safety will only be “conditionally” guaranteed.
In principle, you’d think that cultural exchanges and “engagement” have the potential to change North Korea, and occasionally, we will even see a shred of evidence that it worked that way. Far more often, we see evidence of exactly the opposite, or that the motives behind the various acts of “openness” are downright suspect. Read the rules and reflect on how little ten years of the Sunshine Policy have accomplished to change North Korea … with the sole exception of its nuclear weapons program. Who’s really changed who here? Bracketed comments are mine, pic from here:
In accordance with the August 5th agreement, North and South Korea held the first preparatory meeting for the 2nd Inter-Korean Summit in Gaeseong on August 14, 2007. At the meeting, the two sides discussed procedural details on the second summit meeting and with the approval of the two head delegates, agreed on the following. Also, the two sides agreed to continue discussions, on need basis, through various working-level contacts, advance team discussions, and exchanges of documents.
1. Size and composition of delegation
The South Korean delegation will comprise the President and First Lady as well as an entourage of 200 people.
The agenda will be based on the August 5th Agreement.
[Presumably, that means no discussion of South Korean abductees or prisoners of war, the protection of North Korean refugees, Camp 22 or North Korea’s other sprawling death camps, the freeing of abducted missionaries, or the 10,000 artillery tubes pointed at South Korea. There will be a token discussion of nukes, which will achieve nothing of substance. There will be much discussion of South Korean aid for the North, all of it unmonitored, which will in fact result in the delivery of copious amounts of aid, most of which will end up in Army mess halls and the larders of high party officials.]
President Roh Moo-hyun and Chairman Kim Jong-il of the National Defense Commission will meet with each other and hold talks, and there will be talks with President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong-nam.
The two sides will continue consultations on schedule of the visit based on what the two already discussed today. The North agreed to notify the South of the detailed schedule including visits to various sites as soon as it is set.
Special attendants from the South will have a meeting with North Korean from various sectors.
4. Travel procedures
The Southern delegation will use the road along the west coast, via Gaeseong, when traveling to and coming from Pyongyang.
President Roh will use the presidential vehicle in traveling to the North and during his stay in the North. Security vehicles will accompany the presidential vehicle.
The transportation of official, special, and general attendants will be discussed further.
The two sides agreed that the list of delegates from the South will be sent to the North by August 21 (seven days prior to the summit). The list will include each member’s name, sex, affiliation, position, and a photo. Changes made after the sending of the list will be notified to the North through telephone in Panmunjom, followed by a notice in document.
[We will vet and pre-approve the entire list and have total control over every move made by every member of the delegation.]
5. Advance team
South Korean advance team will consist of thirty members, who will be dispatched seven days prior to the departure of delegation. The list of the team members will be notified to the North four days prior to the day of dispatch.
The advance team will use the road by the west coast via Gaeseong when traveling to the North.
The schedule of the advance team and specific procedural matters will be determined by both sides through discussions upon the arrival of the advance team in North Korea.
6. Guarantee of convenience
The North side will provide all necessary convenience for the members of the South Korean delegation who will stay in North Korea, including room and board, transportation, telecommunication and medical needs.
During the period of stay in North Korea, the South Korean delegation will follow North Korean side’s guide and order.
During the period of stay in the North, the North side will guarantee the delivery of official pouch through Panmunjom, one to two occasions a day.
[We will control where you stay, where you go, how you get there, what you eat, who you talk to, what you say, what you read, and what you get. You will do everything we say. We can’t control your thoughts — yet — but we’re not that concerned. If you had any balls we wouldn’t have let you in in the first place. While they’re starving in Chongjin, we’ll prepare a feast to celebrate all of the openness and reform that ten years and $7 billion worth of Sunshine Policy have produced. Oh, and you will be paying for the feast, Euros only, in advance. Positively no $100 notes accepted.]
7. Guarantee of personal safety
The North side agreed to guarantee the personal safety of the member of the South Korean delegation who will be visiting North Korea.
The North side will guarantee non-aggression on condition that the members of the Southern delegation carry item(s) appropriate for the purpose of the visit, but cargoes will go through necessary customs inspection.
8. Name tags and identification of the attendants and the press
Both sides will use name tags for the attendants according to each side’s convenience. The press will wear armbands.
[We need to keep an especially close eye on some of you.]
South Korean attendants and the press will carry with them visitor’s passports issued by the Minister of Unification of South Korea.
[The UniFiction Ministry will help us. Daily NK correspondents need not apply.]
Since the North side is considering making name tags for attendants and the press, in respecting the North’s opinion, this issue will be further discussed in the protocol working-level contact.
9. Signs and facilities for meeting(s) and summit talks
This issue will be discussed by the advance team.
10. Records of meeting(s) and summit talks
For the records of meetings and talks, both sides will use stenographers, audio and video recording according to each side’s convenience.
11. Press coverage for meeting(s) and summit talks
Press coverage for meeting(s) and summit talks will be done according to each side’s convenience, and a joint press statement can be drawn and announced.
[We will impose additional restrictions as we see fit.]
The North side will guarantee, to the utmost, necessary personnel and equipment for a live coverage, and the issue of taking a satellite broadcasting vehicle to the North will be discussed and decided at the working-level contact.
For the live coverage, the North side will guarantee necessary assistance and convenience needed by the Southern press for direct coverage and production.
12. Press activities
The North side will guarantee press activities of the South Korean press during their stay in the North.
Both sides will work toward accuracy and fairness in reporting.
[We will decide what’s “fair” and “accurate.”]
13. Other procedural matters
The use of direct telephone line already in place between Seoul and Pyongyang and the use of satellite telecommunication network will be discussed at the telecommunication working-level contact.
[Nothing solved there.]
The working-level contacts in the four areas will be held on August 16.
Details on reception of the president will be discussed through exchanges of documents and through the advance team. Details on the schedule including visits to various sites will also be further discussed.