Go to contents

[Editorial] ROK-U.S. Agreement Should Change Attitude towards North Korea

[Editorial] ROK-U.S. Agreement Should Change Attitude towards North Korea

Posted April. 25, 2005 23:40,   


Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon warned North Korea that “if [North Korea] conducts any nuclear tests, it will be further isolating itself.” During meetings between Christopher Hill, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for State East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Korean government`s security members yesterday, the two sides agreed that “North Korea should not worsen the matter.” Some wonder if the situation has become much more serious considering the fact that the government’s attitude has changed so drastically. It is especially unnerving to see the foreign minister react this way to rumors of nuclear tests from a foreign source.

While it is good to see South Korea and the United States agree on the issue for once, it could be that the United States has sent a warning message of sorts to South Korea, and this warning could have influenced the government’s reaction. It cannot be denied that the government’s conciliatory policy has caused a large rift between Korea and the United States, and that may have worsened the situation.

It is true that the government’s handling of the North Korean nuclear issue has amplified worry and uncertainty. President Roh’s statement in Los Angeles that North Korea’s nuclear tests “are reasonable” and the agreement within the government not to refer the issue to the UN Security Council are two clear examples. There have been times when the government, wrapped in sentimental independence, has “defended North Korea,” but the North Koreans have not at all responded favorably. We must look back and see if that attitude somehow exacerbated the situation.

The government must find a solution to the problem. If North Korea does not agree to return to the six-party talks, they must show that diplomatic, economic sanctions and other tactics are inevitable. With time ticking away until the “June deadline,” and with the United States is already thinking of the worst case scenario, we cannot sit back and watch. What if the rumor of nuclear tests is not merely a rumor?