Sunday, October 16, 2005


Kim Jong-il is worthy of Nobel Peace Prize

A kimchiheaded professor is found.

Pro-North controversy gets hotter

October 17, 2005 - More controversy surrounding pro-North Korean remarks erupted over the weekend as Chang Si-ki, a professor at Dongguk University, argued in an online column that Kim Jong-il, the North's leader, should have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the 2000 summit meeting in Pyongyang with then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.
Calling Mr. Kim a "great leader," the professor wrote on the web site of the National Association of Professors for a Democratic Society that the North's leader was deprived the Nobel Peace Prize because of influence from Washington.
Former President Kim Dae-jung received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his efforts towards reconciliation with North Korea and his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea.
However, Mr. Kim's diplomatic methods were questioned after a probe in 2003 revealed that Hyundai sent $500 million to the North just before the summit in what appeared to be a government-approved payoff.
Mr. Chang also defended professor Kang Jeong-koo of the same university, whose pro-North Korean remarks have sparked a heated debate in Korean society. He is portrayed as either a pure academic or a communist agitator.
The professor's views drew angry responses yesterday from netizens who bombarded the Web site of the association. "You say the United States influenced the Nobel Peace Prize. Wasn't it a good thing to stop Kim Jong-il who doesn't care about human rights at all?" wrote one person.
The professor's remarks are expected to further divide South Korean society along Cold War lines.
Last week, Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin resigned after the justice minister ordered him to not detain Professor Kang, who is under investigation after being charged with violating the National Security Law, which forbids making pro-North Korean remarks.
The conservative Grand National Party, the country's largest opposition party, has called for the resignation of the justice minister.

by Brian Lee

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