Friday, October 19, 2012

Political Party Seeks US Forces Withdrawal, Netizens Unconvinced

The troubled United Progressive Party (UPP) is attempting to revise its position on a number of fundamental points, in particular its controversial policy of calling for the withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea (USFK). However, with infighting between inter-party factions rife, it is still unclear as to how the UPP can move forward. Netizens commenting on the Party Renewal Committee’s (PRC) statement remain unconvinced, with many reacting negatively to the UPP debate over the withdrawal of USFK.
Terms such as ‘Jwapa’ [left-wingers], ‘Jongbook’ [those with a pro-North Korean stance], and ‘Jongmi’ [those with a pro-US stance] appear frequently, suggesting that some netizens are not entirely comfortable with the left-wing party’s central policies. With almost two-thousand netizens making their feelings known when the article was reposted on Daum, the UPP have a considerable task ahead of them if they are to improve the party’s public image in the coming months.
From SBS:

UPP considers revising the full withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea party platform

Recently rocked by the series of scandals involving nomination fraud and the ambiguity over the pro-North Korean stance, the United Progressive Party (UPP) announced that it may drop the ‘withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) from the party core platform as a part of the effort to soften the anti-American/pro-North Korean image.
The Party Renewal Committee (PRC) has announced that UPP is seeking to adjust the party stance regarding the United States and North Korea to be more on a par with the average citizen. Park Won-suk, chairman of the PRC, emphasized the need for a more pragmatic approach given the military threat posed by the North Korean regime. In the new party platform published on the 12th this month, the question of the USFK withdrawl was left open, subject to further discussions.
UPP Renewal Committee
Mr. Park concedes that ‘there are some in the party that have called for some revisions to our party platform. We are certainly open to debate on those issues.’ The decision to replace the popular folk songs usually sung at official events with the South Korean national anthem is also on the line.
Park believes that ‘the identity of the progressives cannot be defined by whether or not we sing the National Anthem.’ The former faction-in-power as well as the National Liberation faction is determined to secure the USFK withdrawl clause in the party platform, and that is bound to cause inflammatory debates
USFK in Panmunjum
However, the former faction-in-power made clear that they will not permit any unilateral changes to the party platform, opening up further possibilities for in-party fighting.