[DailyNK Political Cartoon]: Hell’s Bells

© 2020. Gregory Pence, SOUNDSTAGE COMICS

“Hell’s Bells” comments on the flurry of events that have occurred since June, when Kim Yo Jong – Kim Jong Un’s younger sister – rose to further prominence as she leveled threats against South Korea. Her invective followed the release of balloons full of leaflets by defector-activists across the inter-Korean border and climaxed with the blowing up of the inter-Korean Liaison Office – a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. The Moon Jae In administration, long anxious to maintain good relations with North Korea, appears to have blinked: In an unprecedented step, the country’s unification ministry soon announced that it would be conducting “audits” against 25 North Korean human rights-related organizations. This, of course, has led many to wonder whether the Moon government is doing North Korea’s “bidding” by putting the very organizations that express opposition to the North Korean regime – many of which have nothing to do with the balloon launches and intensely oppose the ministry’s plans to conduct the audits – in the hot seat. South Korea’s incoming unification minister, Lee In Yong – a noted South Korean progressive who places a priority on peaceable relations with North Korea, seemingly at all costs – is now the face of efforts to outlaw any future balloon releases, not to mention the suspicious efforts to audit the non-profits. While the unification ministry officially denies any discrimination toward these groups, the optics of all this – many might agree – are not particularly good.

‘지옥의 종소리’는 김정은의 여동생 김여정이 한국을 연일 위협하며 권력을 거머쥔 후 발생한 사건들에 관한 만평입니다. 탈북민 인권활동가들이 북으로 전단을 날려보낸 것을 빌미로 김여정은 한국을 위협했고 이는 남북협력 상징이었던 남북연락사무소 폭파로 이어졌습니다. 오랫동안 북측과 좋은 관계를 유지하길 원했던 문재인 정부도 이에 이례적인 반응을 보였습니다. 통일부가 25개 북한인권 단체들에 ‘사무검사’를 실시하겠다고 밝힌 것입니다.

그러나 대부분의 단체는 이번 대북 전단 사건과는 관련이 없으며 통일부의 검사 계획을 격렬히 반대하고 있습니다. 이인영 통일부 장관은 평화로운 남북 관계를 강조하는 편입니다. 이제 이 장관은 전단지 살포 금지 및 비영리 북한인권 단체들을 대상으로 한 미심쩍은 검사를 진두지휘하고 있습니다. 통일부는 북한인권 단체들을 차별하지 않는다고 공식적으로 밝히고 있지만, 상황이 별로 좋아 보이지는 않습니다.

Click the image below to view the cartoon on the DailyNK website:



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