Updated June. 12, 2014 06:44
Transcriptions of lectures by Hwang Jang-yop (1923-2010), former general secretary of North Korea`s ruling Workers` Party who defected to South Korea in 1997, have been published in two volumes.
The books contain major content of Hwang`s weekly lectures on "human-centered philosophy" for 7 years from 2004 to just four days before his death. Kang Tae-wook, head of the Democratic Ideology Research Society, where Hwang served as a standing advisor, transcribed the lectures recorded on about 190 cassette tapes.
The books contain gist of Hwang`s "human-centered philosophy" and his thoughts on Marxism and the North Korean system. There is also a part in which Hwang, the architect of the North`s ruling ideology of Juche (self-reliance), criticizes the idea as a means for dictatorship. He also stressed that the only way for the progress of the humankind is to strike a harmony between the individualistic attribute (liberty) and collective one (equality).
During questions-and-answer session with his audience, Hwang also expressed his opinions on the realities of North Korea and the inter-Korean relations. He talked about one episode that showed the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il`s personality. When the ruling party`s munitions secretary introduced a new pistol to Kim, saying that it was tested on a dog and proved to be very powerful, the leader replied, "Why did you experiment with a dog? We have a lot of political prisoners. They should have been used for the experiment." Hwang also recalled North Korea`s ruling elite including its prime minister and party secretary believing in reforms and opening but giving up on frankly advising their leader.
The books also include Hwang`s advice on improving the inter-Korean relations and the South`s strategy toward the North. "The best way to lead North Korea to the Chinese-style reform and opening is for South Korea to sign a free trade agreement with China," he argued. "Then, it would be the final nail in Kim Jong Il`s coffin."
Hwang viewed it very unlikely for the North to actually use its nuclear weapons or missiles. He claimed that the real purpose of Pyongyang`s nuclear development is to "instill fear of war (into South Koreans) to make them beg for peace and thus create a popular base for a leftist government (in the South)." Regarding North Korean missiles, Hwang argued, "As long as the U.S. troops stay (in South Korea), the North cannot fire any missile even if it has one million of them." Still, he said Seoul should always be on alert for local provocations such as naval skirmishes on the Yellow Sea."
During a publishing ceremony Wednesday, Kang who compiled the book said that he wanted to restore the human-centered philosophy of Hwang, who is labeled as the architect of the Juche idea, which has been fabricated as an ideology for the North`s dictatorship.