'North Korea may become part of China'
By Lee Tae-hoon
The leader of the ruling party has raised concerns that North Korea may opt to become a part of China, if the impoverished neighboring regime suddenly collapses, at a national security forum in downtown Seoul, Tuesday.
“I’m worried that North Korea is getting too close and familiar to China in a bid to push a third-generation succession,” Rep. Ahn Sang-soo, chairman of the Grand National Party (GNP), said.
“Would we be able to stop North Korea, if it decides to be under the control of China?”
Currently, the Constitution of South Korea stipulates that North Korea is part of the former’s territory to prevent another country, such as China and Russia, from taking over the Stalinist regime in case the isolated nation falls apart.
However, experts say this may not be enough for the two Koreas on the peninsula to eventually unite.
The GNP leader said it was important for South Korea to resume humanitarian aid to the North and make people there feel assured that their Southern neighbor is on their side.
“If North Koreans regard South Korea as their enemy, the unification of the two Koreas will not happen,” Ahn said.
Meanwhile, Unification Minister Hyun In-taek said at a National Assembly interpellation session that the government is preparing to set up a public fund of around 3.8 billion won ($3.4 million).
“We will come up with a draft plan by next April, and collect opinions from both the public and National Assembly and hope to put forth a bill by the first half of next year,” Hyun said.
Hyun said that the government could be adopting a unification tax within President Lee Myung-bak’s tenure. The idea of a unification tax was put forth this year by the President in his Aug. 15 speech.
Hyun, however, said that there was no reason to be wary of North Korea and China stepping up their cooperation and exchanges to revamp and open their economies. “I believe China urging the North to adopt the Chinese style of reform and openness can have a positive effect on the North.”
During the parliamentary session, several lawmakers urged the government to seek an apology from China for its Vice President Xi Jinping’s remarks last week that the 1950-53 Korean War, was “a great and just war for safeguarding peace and resisting aggression."
"We need to demand an apology over Xi’s remarks that slighted and affronted the Republic of Korea." Rep. Yoo Ki-june of the GNP said
Rep. Kim Choong-whan of the GNP also said the government should try to get China to express regret over Xi's remarks on the Korean War.