Koreans have an expression, Jongbuk Jwabbal (從北左빨), which literally
means North Korea-following Leftist Reds). As the word suggests, it refers to
the people in the Republic of Korea who are leftists and/or Communists and who follow or support the North Korean regime of Chairman Kim Jong-Un.
There are very few genuine Jongbuk Jwabbal in South Korea, but the ruling camp of conservatives love to use the expression in reference to just anyone who is opposed to the policies and/or ideologies of the conservative camp.
In many instances, Jongbuk Jwabbal are just the conscientious and honest people who have grievances or complaints against the government or those in power, including Jaebeol businesses tycoons. The conservatives, namely those in the ruling camp, expediently used the expression also against their political competitors or foes.
South Korea is fully exposed to the threat and danger of invasion by North Korea who is armed with formidable nuclear weapons and missiles. North Korea continues to improve and sophisticate the nukes and missiles to effectively strike targets in the South and even some west coast cities of the United States--let alone Okinawa, Guam and Hawaii.
This is a great threat to the security of the Republic of Korea. This situation is fully taken advantage of by the conservatives in power, who cry wolf and succeed in suppressing even fully justified protest demonstrations and rallies against ill-conceived policies or measures of the government and the ruling camp.
It is true that there are real North Korean espionage agents operating in South Korea and, of course, they use the real Jongbuk Jwabbal as their intermediate host. However, the genuine Jongbuk Jwabbal are so well-trained and smart that their collaboration with the North Korean espionage-intelligence-guerrilla agencies is rarely discovered by the counter-intelligence agencies of the South. They are home-grown leftist supporters of the North Korean regime and almost blindly support North Korea collaborating with the North Korean agents clandestinely dispatched to the South.
So who and what give birth to Jongbuk Jwabbal, genuine or otherwise?
They are the corrupt government officials and the greedy Jaebeol business tycoons.
As is seen in the Sewol Ferry case, the investigation of which continues to drag on and on into several months now without any progress made, corruption prevails in all segments of society, to speak nothing of the government and the political arena.
There exists an inalienable ties of conglutination between Jaebeol business tycoons and corrupt government officials and this has brought the entire society into a morbid condition with the result that in South Korea today a meager 0.1% of the total population controls the entire national economy of the country preying on the remaining 99.9%. Jongbuk Jwabbal are born and grown under these conditions.
On July 15 this year, reform-minded Rep. Kim Moo-sung was elected as new chairman of the ruling Saenuri Party at its national convention defeating pro-Park Guen-hye candidate, Rep. Seo Cheong-won. Of course, Kim MS has limitations in carrying out any meaningful reforms as a conservative party leader at this time. However, if he wants, he could help reduce the number of new Jongbuk Jwabbal through reforms against corruption and undue government-jaebeol collaboration. (See related stories and photos on