Go to contents

[Editorial] We Support the Peaceful, Diplomatic Settlement of the North Korean Nuclear Issue

[Editorial] We Support the Peaceful, Diplomatic Settlement of the North Korean Nuclear Issue

Posted November. 21, 2004 23:21,   


President Roh Moo-hyun and the U.S. President George W. Bush agreed to settle the North Korean nuclear problem in a peaceful, diplomatic way within the framework of the six-way talks. The heads of member states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), including Japan, China, and Russia, also had meetings with President Roh or President Bush where they unanimously confirmed the efficiency of the six-way talks. This event is very fortunate because their affirmations can play a significant role in mitigating anxiety over the possibility of the second Bush administration’s hard-line attitude against North Korea and revitalizing the air for resumption of the six-way talks.

The most conspicuous outcome of this summit between South Korea and the U.S. is that the two heads of countries expressed a strong will for the solution of the North Korean nuclear problem. It has been reported that President Roh aggressively suggested measures to tackle the nuclear issue and promised to take follow-up responsibility for it, while U.S. President Bush said that he will treat North Korea’s nuclear problem as a vital issue.

Two years have passed since the North’s nuclear initiative drew the attention of the international community. The more we prolong this problem, the more difficult it will be to solve. Now that the two heads of the U.S. and South Korea expressed their strong intentions for it, precise measures must be devised so that the six-way talks resume promptly. Even though there is room for each country to set up measures in various directions, they must not forget the underlying principle, “peaceful settlement through six-way talks.”

In addition, the government, which has clearly showed our position to the U.S., should do the same to the North. President Bush, who had a meeting with the heads of South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, said that the message from the heads of five countries to North Korea is “to eliminate the nuclear weapons program.” Even though they concluded that peaceful solution is the best way, it is necessary to inculcate on North Korea that the ultimate object is the elimination of nuclear weapons. Moreover, we should create a new strategy under which the talks and exchanges between South Korea and North Korea can be used as a means to help the settlement of the nuclear issue.

North Korea must seriously consider the outcome of the ROK-U.S. summit talks and the unanimous demands of the five countries and enter into the six-way talks. If North Korea rejects the resumption of the talks, it can be understood that the North has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons program. North Korea must keep in mind that if six-way talks remain dormant for a long time, the possibility for a peaceful settlement will consequently shrink.