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[Editorial] Although the Submission of Korea’s Nuclear Experiment Issue to the Security Council was Blocked

[Editorial] Although the Submission of Korea’s Nuclear Experiment Issue to the Security Council was Blocked

Posted November. 26, 2004 23:17,   


It is good news that Korea’s nuclear experiment issue was not submitted to the U.N. Security Council and instead was settled in the IAEA. The experiment was officially acknowledged as a “laboratory level” action in the international community. I wish the issue will no longer be a subject of international controversy as the board of the IAEA acknowledged that Korea did not attempt, and much less had the intention, to develop nuclear weapons.

Although Korea avoided the submission of the issue to the Security Council, the fact itself that the IAEA dealt Korea’s nuclear experiment issue had a non-negligible negative effect on the national honor and confidence of the country. During the last three months, some foreign press and persons inflated suspicions as if Korea pushed the development of nuclear weapons. Even in friendly Japan, comments distorting and exaggerating the truth of the nuclear experiment poured out. There was also a preposterous situation in which North Korea asserted that Korea’s experiment be discussed at the six-party talks. Hence, the Korean government should not relax, saying that the distrust of foreign countries was resolved by the decision of the IAEA.

The government should do its best lest it leaves any dregs. The government should respond sincerely to the IAEA’s procedures to dispel suspicions including additional inspections lest even the least bit of doubt should be left. It is needless to say that the government should comport itself so that it will never again be involved in nuclear suspicions.

This nuclear experiment disturbance reminded us of the importance of an alliance once again. Despite the government’s all-out diplomatic endeavors, it would have been difficult to convince the IAEA member nations, who argued for aggressive countermeasures, without the U.S. cooperation. The disturbance left a lesson that close cooperation with allies is the power to resolve international issues.

In the background of nuclear experiments conducted by some scientists lies their anguish for peaceful utilization. It is a serious problem that Korea, which is void of oil production and relies more than 40 percent on nuclear power, is unable to cater nuclear fuels by itself. Although Korea gave up developing nuclear weapons, it cannot do the same for generating electricity using nuclear power. In the long term, Korea should find a way to produce nuclear fuels even if it takes a revision of the R.O.K.-U.S. Nuclear Agreement.