I’ve often said that in the eyes of many “progressive” South Koreans, it’s just not physically possible for North Korea to do wrong, and Incheon Mayor Song Young-Gil has done much to confirm our worst fears. A day after the North Koreans shelled Yeonpyeong Island — which, by the way, is undisputed South Korean territory — Song tweeted out that the attack was provoked by South Korean military exercises.
Song also uploaded some pictures and said that North Korea shelled a market on Yeonpyeong because it was a South Korean intelligence facility a decade ago. Apparently, certain reactionary Netizens interpreted Song’s comments as a justification of North Korea’s decision to shell Yeonpyeong and its choice of targets.
You don’t say.
[It's OK, ma'am, he had it coming. AP photo.]
Anyway, after Song’s tweet generated controversy, he deleted it. Flushed it down the memory hole. Trotskied it.
Song was elected just last June, in a mid-term election that came less than three months after the sinking of the Cheonan. The Democratic Party pretty much ran the tables in that race, which came not even three months after the North Koreans sank the Cheonan, and when DP politicians were already circulating insane conspiracy theories that blamed pretty much everyone but the party found responsible by a multi-national investigation. Disturbing as it was not to see the DP hounded out of the political mainstream for its zany and frankly unpatriotic conduct, the DP did later take a beating in National Assembly elections, which are harder to write off as being the consequence of local issues.
["Whoa. It says 'Made in Kaesong.'" AP photo of DP leaders Sohn Hak-Kyu and "Comrade" Chung Dong-Young]
Oh, and did I mention that the good people of Yeonpyeong-Do are Mayor Song’s own constituents? It takes some poking around, but as it turns out, Yeonpyeong-Do is part of Ongjin County, which was merged into the municipality of Incheon in 1995.
[AFP, AP photos of legitimate military targets]
You really have to love a guy you can always count on to stick up for the people who got him where he is today. It’s times like this when I can only shake my head and wonder which Korean regime will collapse first. If the Pendulum Principle of Politics is correct, Song’s party will probably nominate South Korea’s next president. And when that person is actually elected — most likely while riding the wave of some incomprehensibly silly issue — we should really ask ourselves why we’re supposed to defend people who can’t even decide whether they should be defended.