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The Korean Government Versus Nicholas Eberstadt in the Second Round

The Korean Government Versus Nicholas Eberstadt in the Second Round

Posted December. 02, 2004 23:08,   


The Korean government has demanded that the Weekly Standard publish a report to refute the story of senior researcher Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The researcher harshly criticized the Korean government’s North Korean policy in his article.

Under the name of spokesman Oh Soo-dong of the South Korean Embassy in the U.S., the government demanded on Wednesday to Chief Editor William Kristol of the Weekly Standard that it would print a report refuting Eberstadt’s arguments that the U.S. should interfere with Korea’s domestic policies and take military actions against North Korea.

In the article “Tear Down This Tyranny,” which was published in the Weekly Standard on November 29, Eberstadt advised the second term of the Bush administration on various North Korean policies.

As for Eberstadt’s argument that the new Bush administration should confront North Korea, the government countered, “For the past 50 years, North Korea has never given in to outside pressure, and high-handed policies toward it have only resulted in strengthening the North Korean regime.”

“It is irresponsible to mistake the Korean government’s thoughtful and prudent diplomacy as an appeasement policy. It is unwise to disregard Korea’s experiences in its negotiations with North Korea,” the government argued in its refute.

Eberstadt criticized that the Korean government’s core group was implacably anti-American and reflexively pro-appeasement toward North Korea.

“His argument that non-diplomatic measures should be put on the table in order to reduce North Korea’s threats seems to mean that the U.S. should take military actions unilaterally,” the government’s statement pointed out. “But, he has disregarded the possible consequences of his advice on the U.S.’ influence on the Korean Peninsula and its relations with other countries, including allies.”

He argued that instead of speaking to the Korean government which is favorable to North Korea and is described as “Taliban” by the Korean media, the U.S. should be speaking to the Korean people, building and nurturing the coalitions in South Korea domestic politics.

Last month right after the U.S. presidential election, Eberstadt created controversies in his interview by saying that he knew who in Cheong Wa Dae were expecting President Bush to lose.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com