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[Editorial] US and South Differ in Approaching North`s Nuclear Weapons Program

[Editorial] US and South Differ in Approaching North`s Nuclear Weapons Program

Posted October. 20, 2002 22:48,   


The Bush administration and Kim Dae-jung administration have shown, at least in our eyes, a big difference in approaching North Korea`s development of nuclear weapons. We have a grave concern about the difference. The most effective solution of the nuclear problem could come out from close cooperation between South and the United States. Nonetheless, if two countries differ from each other like this much, the whole scenario will be turned upside down.

The Bush administration has demonstrated that it would not yield to North. It seems even ready to withdraw from the 1994 arms control accord with North. Assistant Secretary James Kelly, who visited South last weekend, confirmed, "There will be no more talks with North unless North disposes of its enriched uranium." It is understandable why US government responds this way. Above all, North Korea violated what it had agreed to comply with in the arms control accord. In addition, North`s development of weapons of mass destruction threatens the security of the whole region of North Eastern Asia.

But, a little weirdly, our government, which is the direct party to this confrontation, has "miraculously" maintained calmness. To begin with, Kim Dae-jung administration interpreted North Korea`s admission of its nuclear program as the "demonstration of North`s willingness to talk." It`s far from what the United States has conceived of the matter. This kind of difference in positions, we are afraid, might lead to the methods of solving the problem.

The Kim administration also confirmed that it got to know of the existence of North Korea`s development of the nuclear weapons last August. Nonetheless, it has hid the fact from its citizens so far. It is wrong that Kim Dae-jung administration shows sympathy toward North, which stabbed us in the back by developing the nuclear weapons, while receiving all the benefits under the Sunshine policy.

Of course, it is necessary, even at this moment, to keep our peace efforts towards North. But, what should come first is not the talks, but North Korea`s disposal of its program. Only that way, we could narrow the gap between South and US. Moreover, North Korea should realize that it could no longer be able to jump on the bend wagon of the Sunshine policy.