This is a rebuttal against an article contributed in Korea Herald (12/18/99) by Donald Gregg who was a former US ambassador to South Korea.
Donald Gregg has given DJ Kim the highest mark in dealing with the country’s economic crisis and the Korean people are luckier than they realize to have such a leader at this time.
He also has severely castigated the Korean media and the opposition party that the media has centered their attention too much on the peccadilloes of high government’s officials and the GNP does not give Kim the credit for the achievements.
Internationally, he claimed, Kim has developed a series of remarkably amicable and substantive relations with his neighbors, ASEAN, Japan and China, and Kim’s “Sunshine policy” is the essential foundation for Washington’s approach to the North Korea.
Finally, he had compared Kim with Franklin Roosevelt’s difficulties in his first two-term presidency with American conservatives and full recognition of achievements came after the retirement, he wished this pattern, which is quite common in democracies, may also apply to Kim.
Prior to rebut his opinion, I would like to introduce Mr. Donald P Gregg to Korean people who generally perceive him nonchalantly as a former ambassador to South Korea in 1990 and now chairman of the Korean Society in New York as the Herald introduced him, and let the Koreans decide the worthiness and authenticity of his article
Mr. Gregg, first of all, has spent thirty-one years working at CIA, an agency known for deception and dirty tricks, and his career survived the Iran-Contra scandal despite wide spread allegations that had helped construct Oliver North’s secret contra support network, even though his role was never proven. (During the hostage crisis in Iran, he was detailed from the CIA to President Carter’s National Security Council staff.)
He was taken in 1988 as a National Security Adviser to then-Vice President G.H W Bush who was a CIA director during Gregg’s career in the agency and finally, he was appointed as an ambassador to Seoul, the pattern of the appointment in Washington D.C usually implies that you can buy the ambassadorship by pouring a lot of political funds or by sticking one’s lips permanently to the politician’s posterior.
According to Robert Parry, who was an investigative reporter of Associated Press and Newsweek, Donald Gregg exhibits a knack for wonderful CIA case officer who could display a compassionate personal style to persuade foreign officials to tell him everything and carry always the concept of deniability if he were caught in his covert business.
In the first place, I am extremely curious about how the career CIA man-turned-Ambassador has taken DJ Kim in 1990 when Kim was in the opposition camp and suspected of the commie-sympathizer during the military autocracy in South Korea.
I bet my ass that Mr. Gregg would never accommodate Kim as he claimed this day as a historical leader, when Kim was an ardent supporter of the withdrawal of the U.S. armed forces from the peninsular.
It seems to be very clear that very few people would think they are lucky to have Kim as their leader since Kim has sold his people down the river, become a factotum for international financiers in Wall Street, and perpetuate the financial burden to the next generation. (Refer to the article “DJ Kim and a White Lie” in Herald Forum)
Mr. Gregg rode roughshod over the Korean media for sensationalizing the Furgate and other scandals of Kim’s regime invoking Lewinsky case.
Suppose Kim, like Bill Clinton, would have seduced a young girl of one-third of his age to his office, spelunked her vagina with his cigar, ejaculated his sperm on her clothes, and arrogantly denying “I have not had a sexual relationship, with that girl”, Koreans have not assumed this act of philandering and deception as forgivable as a simple peccadillo as Mr. Gregg suggested.
When Kim has called his intelligence director to his woodshed for spilling the beans about the slush funds, no one in his right mind would think that Kim has accepted it from the publisher of the daily newspaper legally and not in quid pro quo situation. (The messenger who delivered the cash was convicted of tax evasion but released on probation that is the normal process to blackmail and rob the moneyed interest for half a century in South Korea.)
Internationally, Mr. Gregg insisted, Kim has played a major role in the formation of new concept in economic cooperation among neighboring nations, but few Koreans would believe Kim could function as a sovereign head of the state without the intervention of his master, U.S.A.
Even the North Koreans would not want to sit parallel with the South at the same table without American presence or the clear American mandate, and Kim only ‘plays’ and ‘pantomime’ his master’s hand signals.
Finally, Mr. Gregg’s wishful thinking that Kim would be remembered as the great leader like Franklin Roosevelt after his retirement has no place to thrive in the political history of the South Korea, since all the Presidents, Tom, Dick and Harry, were found to be either the torturer, murderer, philanderer, swindler, dictator, tyrant, or traitor, and none of them were praised as the great leader.
There is no exception, I firmly believe, for DJ Kim too and he’d be lucky if he would not appear in prison togs after his retirement. (The only reason Yongsam Kim has been out of the jail is that he got DJ Kim’s balls tight and would hold on it until DJ is out of the Blue House.)