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“The Concept of ‘North Korea = Primary Enemy’ Should Be Reconsidered”

“The Concept of ‘North Korea = Primary Enemy’ Should Be Reconsidered”

Posted March. 05, 2004 22:29,   


“It needs to be generally reconsidered,” said Seo Joo-seok, senior official of the National Security Council (NSC), concerning the designation of North Korea as the primary enemy of South Korea.

On a MBC radio program addressing current events, Seo declared, “We should consider the international trend, the public’s awareness of national security, the necessity of military training, and South-North Korea situation (in relation to the concept of ‘primary enemy’).”

“It has been about four years since the publication of ‘Peace, Prosperity and National Security,’ including the concept of ‘primary enemy’,” Seo said. “In case of a re-publishing (of ‘Peace, Prosperity and National Security’), it might go along with the reconsideration (about the concept of ‘primary enemy’).”

“Because the primary decision is not just a responsibility of the Defense Ministry, even though the subject of the primary decision is the Defense Ministry itself, the decision process will go through some discussion in the government, including the NSC standing committee,” Seo explained.

Seo’s statement is expected to cause some criticism because it is interpreted as the government’s denunciation of the concept of “primary enemy = North Korea” at this time, being ahead of the re-publishing of “Peace, Prosperity and National Security” in May.

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com