I’m not going to go much into the mess that has become the Unified Progressive Party (UPP)—mostly because I don’t yet know how much to believe, either in regards to the vote-rigging allegations or the possible ideological reasons behind the alleged rigging.
I did find a Chosun Ilbo piece on Rep. Lee Seok-gi, a UPP figure recently elected to the National Assembly as a proportional representative, somewhat enlightening, though, as it gives you a sense of what some of these guys believe. When asked about North Korea’s recent succession of power to a third generation of the Kim family, Lee said he agreed with Prof. Song Du-yul’s “intrinsic approach” to North Korea, which is to say, understanding North Korea using North Korea’s own logic. Rep. Kim Seon-dong, a fellow UPP lawmaker who hails from the same National Liberation faction as Lee, also said in a recent press conference that the Lee Myung-bak administration was provoking North Korea by lecturing to its system and new leader, which he said could be viewed as interfering in the North’s internal affairs.
Given that the UPP’s status as a minor party and the political irrelevance it seems to be headed for now, I’m not sure what any of this means, if anything. Still, it stinks.