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[Editorial] Issue of North Korea`s Nuclear and Biochemical Weapons Raised again

[Editorial] Issue of North Korea`s Nuclear and Biochemical Weapons Raised again

Posted November. 27, 2001 09:05,   


The issue of The New York Times two days ago reported that the Bush administration may be planning to put pressure on North Korea as the next phase of the war on terrorism. Several days before, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton marked North Korea for violating the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The fact that North Korea is becoming a priority for the U.S. after being pushed back following September 11 is a matter of concern for us.

The Times reported that the Bush administration will push for comprehensive international investigations on nations such as North Korea and Iraq who are suspected to have developed nuclear and biochemical weapons. In case these nations refuse, "bombs may precede diplomacy." reported the Times. We do not want these reports to be true but it is clear that the U.S. will not hang solely on to negotiations whose effectiveness is questionable and process is time-consuming.

In light of this situation, we cannot help but wonder whether the North is oblivious of these developments or is just actively ignoring them. On the issue of military power, the North is maintaining its existing obstinate position. Although the North has announced its intention to join the international agreement against terrorism and tried to accommodate the changing international situation, that is still not enough for us.

The South Korean administration, which has insisted on negotiation for South-North reconciliation from the start, must also change its stance. The administration`s strained effort to avoid discussions of North Korea`s nuclear, biochemical, and conventional weapons merely showed that it was postponing the difficult issue of national security for a later time in the future. The reason why the administration`s aid to North Korea has not received popular support has to do with the fact that it has its priorities backwards – national security first, North Korean aid second. The administration also has to understand that sticking to the current policy of negotiation may create problems for cooperative relations between the U.S. – NK.

The most important thing at this point is for North Korea to show a new image of itself in its relations with the U.S. and South Korea. North Korea should accept international investigations for nuclear and biochemical weapons and take an active interest in resuming dialogue with the U.S. It should also put an immediate stop to negative broadcasts against South Korea which has continued after the sixth South-North ministers meeting.