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[Editorial] The South May Face Contingency Before the North

[Editorial] The South May Face Contingency Before the North

Posted November. 05, 2005 03:02,   


The policy research report on North Korean contingency submitted to the National Assembly Defense Committee once again tells us the truism that “the best security is preparing for the worst.” The team led by professors Nam Joo-hong at Kyunggi University and Yoon Tae-young from Yonsei University noted in the report commissioned by the committee, “Although a North Korean contingency is currently in progress, the South Korean government only has the ‘optimistic idea’ that a peace regime on the Korean peninsula will end the tension in the country.” In other words, even though the North Korean nuclear issue is resolved, Pyongyang may face big turmoil such as internal collapse due to the pressure of liberalization.

More shocking is the warning that “the South may face a contingency before the North.” The report described the ideological conflict within the South over Dongguk University professor Kang Jeong-gu’s pro-North remarks as a “silent civil war.” In addition, the paper pointed out that while the Kim Jung Il regime became relatively secure with North Korean assistance from the Roh Moo-hyun administration following that of Kim Dae-jung, South Korea was embroiled in a serious upheaval because of internal conflicts and an identity crisis. It also advised “never to rush” in gaining operational control authority back from the U.S. military as this could result in a withdrawal of U.S. forces stationed in South Korea.

Earlier, a Korean peninsula specialist and professor John Overdurf said in his lecture at Korea University, “South Korea is experiencing an identity crisis, and the U.S. and South Korean governments and political circles are going different ways, the former shifting to the right while the latter is gearing toward the left.” He also added, “Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers need not stay in the South if North Korea is no longer considered a threat.”

The problem is that the government has been turning a deaf ear to the concerns over the weakening R.O.K.-U.S. coordination while strengthening that between the two Koreas, dismissing the worries as a “conservative cold war ideology.” Not only that, early this year, the government suspended the review process of Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) to improve the “Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 5029” by citing that “it could provoke the North.” However, the North still is the source of “security crisis.” Security is preparing even for the one percent chance of risk. The “optimistic idea” alone will not ready ourselves for a contingency.