Rev. Kim Organizes Anti-Kim Jong Il Rally
by Kim Seong-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Chosun Ilbo National
"Why do people rage against American soldiers who accidentally killed two middle school students, while not showing the same emotion to the Kim Jong Il who let over three million North Koreans die of starvation?" The words of Reverend Kim Han-shik of Hansarang Church, and one of the organizers of the "anti-USFK withdrawal, anti-nuclear weapons, anti-Kim, pro-unification" rally to be held March 1 in front of City Hall in Seoul, are filled with concern. And to the current irresponsible anti-Americanism prevalent in some parts of society, he says that he is worried about where society is heading.
Christians held prayer meetings to object to USFK withdrawal sentiment, and to call for restraint of anti-American movements on two Saturdays last month. The rally, to be held on the historic independence movement commemoration day, will include not only Protestants, but also Buddhists and Catholics. Also, various civic groups including the retired generals' group "Seongwoohoi" and a North Korean defectors' group will also participate. Reverend Kim said that he hoped that the rally, like the Samil Independence Movement, will unite people of different religions, regions, social status, and age
The organization committee has been trying to induce the participation of younger Koreans by setting up http://www.savekorea.net and holding various events. Reverend Kim said that he had felt the patriotism potential of younger Koreans during the 2002 World Cup and added that for social movements, the Internet needed to be used for the new generation.
On March 1, millions of light blue balloons, symbolizing peace will be flown in the sky. Reverend Kim said that he hoped that if people around the world saw this, then some of the worries about the safety of the Korean peninsula would be diminished.
The organization committee plans to send a delegation to the United States to meet with policy makers there. This trip was planned on the realization that concerns about the Korean anti-Americanism in the US were at a considerable level. Reverend Kim said that people with such sentiments were only a minority in Korea, but there is a misunderstanding that this is the majority's sentiment. He noted that the delegation will deliver the conviction that the USFK must stay in Korea to restrain North Korea's nuclear program and war schemes.
He also showed concern on the fact that some media were equating "conservatism" with "the extreme right." Kim said the current social atmosphere of charging a person as an extreme right-winger, even if what they says is true, was wrong.
Reverend Kim concluded that criticism against the North Korean government and aid to starving people should be strictly divided, and that the Kim Dae-jung administration has brought about chaos by not disclosing the truth about secret remittances to North Korea.