In the Korea Times, Andrew Salmon discusses what he feels is the insensitivity South Korea’s protesting classes have for the plight of North Koreans, citing in particular the relatively small protests held in front of the Chinese embassy over China’s repatriation of North Korean refugees.
It’s a good column that answers what I have to think a lot of outside observers are wondering.
Of the factors cited by Salmon, I think the left-wing nature of Korean street protests is the most important one. Generaly speaking, right-wingers prefer other avenues of political expression/mobilization, and at any rate, there’s no need to take to the streets when you’ve got the three largest newspapers in the country (and, if you ask their unions, the major broadcasters) on your side. In fact, if anything, the fact that there were protests at all in front of the Chinese embassy was something I found to be a pleasant surprise.