We are currently standing at a time of change.
Military reign which dominated the people for long 30 years in the name of economic growth has finally been defeated by the unified power of the people. International views regarding the Korean peninsula have started to change since the collapse of the Soviet Union and East Europe. Moreover, as competition amongst the nations increased, there has been a movement to reform the basis of international order.
However, the civilian government which has been formed with their hardship neglected the people’s desire drifted away from the task of reform. Also, the stringent political situation of public security which came to society after the death of Kim Il Sung showed the brittleness of the democratic foundation of our country. We, who stand at this point in history, must fulfill the meaning of democracy and we have no doubts that in order to ensure the conditions of a decent living, we must have the people’s support and wisdom. As we confront the reality that has experienced many changes, we would like to hold up the flag of solidarity in hopes to form an honest society, a participatory society and a society where hard working people can lead a decent life.
Before the 80’s, tear bombs played a part on the streets in achieving democracy but the situation has changed now. In order to build a true democracy in this new era, action must take place in the middle of society and the political stage, and in people’s daily lives. ‘Democracy’, literally would mean that the owners of the country are the people.
However, an anachronism situation has prevailed where the owners of the country are being treated like servants and the public servants are ruling over the owners. Regardless of who takes power, they do not try to change voluntarily this kind of backward situation. Therefore, there needs to be people’s participation and their supervision. The status of a country’s owner is not something that we can verify through an election process every few years. In order to be the real owner of a country, we must become a watchman that closely supervises the activities of state power on a daily basis.
The type of democracy we are in pursuit of is one with a political idea where dignity of humanity is realized and where human rights are its top priority. Until now, as we fought against inhumanness and powers that do not support human rights, we tried to gain the right to freely express ourselves through speech and actions.
However, the task of ensuring civil and political rights is left as incomplete one. We, who are facing the new century, have many social and human rights problems that we must resolve. Feelings of indifference towards alienated and suppressed people are acts that are of abandoning our natural social duties. We are sure to build circumstances that help those with physical, psychological and social problems to live a better life. In the past few months, we have opened our hearts to discuss the future of the local autonomy, the unification of the Korean peninsula, the public welfare and ways to actualize these plans. Peoples from every field and level participated in the discussion. Experts from many fields, ones who led citizens’ movements and human rights activities, students with burning passion, citizen victims of unfair treatment from those in power who could not find any places of solace participated in the discussion open heartedly.
After much travail, we decided to build a community of hope with two axes of ‘participation’ and ‘human rights’ as the direction of a new society. We want ‘People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy’, where many citizens gather to become the foundation in forming a unified community. Let’s make an era that is formed with everyone’s support, an era that is built with participation and human rights.
September 10, 1994
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