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KIm Dae-jung's "Sunshine Policy"
- KIm Dae-jung's "Sunshine Policy"
- 저작자 미상 (저작물 2267371 건)
It has been almost a decade since this first-ever handshake between the two leaders of South and North Korea made headlines around the world painting a rosy outlook of engagement and reconciliation between the divided peninsula.
Then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung was the architect behind the June 2000 visit to Pyeongyang‚ the first of its kind‚ and the biggest step toward peace since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Such a historic move of an engagement-oriented approach towards the communist North‚ namely the "Sunshine Policy‚" was originated from one of Aesop's fables: a story that deals with the sun winning over the wind in removing a man's coat by shining warmly to prompt the man to voluntarily take off his coat.
The policy is focused on principles aimed at softening the reclusive regime by encouraging interaction and economic assistance and seeking short-term reconciliation as a prelude to eventual unification.
[Interview : Kim Dae-jung
June 15‚ 2000] "I have returned with the faith that Korea's future holds reconciliation‚ cooperation and the possibility of unification."
The policy resulted in greater political contact between the two Koreas which broke ground with several high-profile business ventures including the joint industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong and reunion of families separated since the end of the Korean War.
Experts say the general concept behind the Sunshine Policy was effective not because it helped to bring about a miracle of painless unification but that it undermined the control of North Korean leadership and affected the minds of its people.
[Interview : Andrei Lankov‚ North Korea specialist
Kookmin University] "In order to stay in control‚ Kim Jong-iI has to keep people absolutely ignorant about the outside world and about South Korea. The Sunshine Policy created contacts and exchanges. And these exchanges led to dissemination of knowledge‚ subversive knowledge about North Korea."
[Interview : John Swenson-Wright‚ Visiting Professor
Seoul National University] "It took a great deal of political courage and foresight to recognize something had to be done to signal to the North that the international community was intent not in pursuing the policy of confrontation but the willingness to engage."
The historic joint statement on peace and growth of the two Koreas in 2000 eventually won Kim the Nobel Peace Prize that same year and the following Roh Moo-hyun government maintained the policy adopted by his predecessor.
However‚ with North Korea's continuous nuclear threats and breach of UN resolutions Kim's Sunshine Policy has faded into the shadows following a series of scandals following his tenure including the Hyundai secret payment revelation of 500 million US dollars to Pyeongyang prior to the summit and North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006.
Conservatives faulted the strategy as being too soft on the Communist government pouring aid across the border without managing to end North Korean nuclear weapons programs and human rights abuses and the current Lee Myung-bak administration has all but abandoned it.
Nonetheless‚ his passion and will to pave the most practical way towards unification will be inherited to the next generation and his name will be remembered as a pioneer and strategist in inter-Korean relations.
Yoo Ji-hae‚ Arirang News.
Reporter : email@example.com
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