In a question and answer column for the Catholic Peace Weekly, a reader from overseas asks how to understand what is going on in Korea. Some say the followers of North Korea are instigating the demonstrations and others say it is the aches and pains to become a developed country. Which is it?
Korea is going through a difficult period, answers the columnist. It's a transition period and the social body is aching in its attempt to become a healthy country. You have the movement to move from the past and change the structures that were harmful and those who don't want the change. We are experiencing the aches and pains that are necessary to move from the dark and dampness of the past to a new way of being Korea. No need to worry.
The citizen street demonstrations that you have heard about are not instigated by the leftist followers of the North, or a special political party or extremists. The majority of the demonstrators are quick to prevent any violence that is contemplated and we are seeing a mature citizenry.
We also see growth in what is being said. No special political party's platform, but common sense that is promulgated and resistance to what is not common sense. Many of the parents bring their children to the demonstration for they do not want their children to be victims and want them to live with hope.
There have been many things in society that have been hidden and one big incident is the Sewol Ferry Tragedy. There are many other absurdities that remain hidden. The prayers of the children who lost their lives the columnist wants to believe helped bring the problems to the attention of the citizens.
Citizens for some time, at the hands of clever politicians, have been cajoled. They've used prejudicial feelings present towards different areas of the country, fostered conflict with the North, and ideology to keep the citizens' criticism at bay and keep them quiet. They know that it's not true but are too busy in living to do anything.
The citizens don't want their children to suffer what many of them had to experience: a reason they have turned to the streets to make their wills known.
The citizens have behaved maturely in these demonstrations and common sense was mostly followed. Respect was shown to others giving hope for the future. The citizens are to be praised, he tells his overseas reader, and he concludes the article with no reason to worry about the future.