It was announced today that the South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang for a summit between August 28th and August 30th. The South Korean opposition party Grand National Party (GNP) are suspicious of the suddenly arranged summit and to be honest I have to agree with them.
They (GNP) argue that this is just an election trick by the government to boost poll ratings before the South Korean Presidential Election in December. Current opinion polls put the two GNP candidates Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye first and second respectively and a country mile ahead of any liberal or pro-government candidate.
So far in this election race every liberal candidate has failed to gather more than 10% approval rating in opinion polls. This might change once the liberals have found a candidate to unite around however the downside for the liberal government Uri Party is that once the conservative opposition GNP have selected their candidate then they will be in an even stronger position then they are now.
This summit has been arranged towards the end of Roh Moo-hyun’s term and has been located in North Korea which suggests that the government Uri Party are try to shore up their core vote and steal liberal voters from other parties. The shocking thing is that this tactic might actually work because those citizens who support the reunification of Korea tend to be liberal voters.
And before you liberals say ‘Why would the North Koreans agree to this if it is an election tactic?’ Well the North Koreans are currently receiving fuel aid and food aid and diplomatic relations between North and South are at there best for years however if the GNP were to win the Presidential election then the South will adopt a much harsher stance toward the North so no more fuel aid or food aid. So it is in the North’s interests to help boost the South’s liberal pro-government vote.
The sad thing is that this summit will be seen by the rest of the world as a step forward for peace and reconciliation between the two Koreas when it is nothing of the sort. Unfortunately this summit is just a cheap election tactic by the liberal forces of South Korea and I hope it fails.
Source: The Korea Herald