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[Editorial] Another Shocker from Roh

Posted September. 09, 2006 06:14,   


President Roh, who is on a trip to Finland, said the day before yesterday that North Korea’s test firing of Taepodong-2 did not have implications of an armed attack but rather held a political purpose. Ignoring the serious concern from the international community, President Roh once again gave his support to the North. It is doubtful that Korea and the U.S. will have a productive dialogue on the North’s nuclear program and missile test, now that President Roh displayed his out-of-touch perspective of North Korea, a week ahead of the Korea-U.S. summit scheduled for September 14. I really wonder what President Roh is thinking about.

At a press conference following a summit with Finnish President Tarja Halonen, President Roh was asked about the North’s possible nuclear test following its missile tests from a Finnish reporter. President Roh, first regarding the Taepodong missile, said, “Taepodong is too shabby to reach the U.S. and too big to aim at South Korea,” and added that South Korea didn’t find any sign of the North’s nuclear test.

Six Rodong and Scud missiles out of the seven total missiles fired by North Korea on July 5, with the exception of Taepodong-2, were developed aiming at Korea. Yet Roh distorted the fact by saying that North’s missile launching was not an actual military threat, while only mentioning Taepodong. If the North’s missiles were not a threat, why would the United Nations Security Council have unanimously adopted a resolution calling for sanctions against North Korea and the North’s blood alliance, China, joined in?

President Roh already caused a stir in November 2004 in Los Angeles, saying, “There is some truth in North Korea saying that nuclear weapons and missiles are a means to defend itself.”

If Roh continues to support North Korea even after undergoing a diplomatic repercussion that time, how would he handle the aftermath from his reckless remarks later?

Who could shoulder the national costs to be caused by cooperation with North Korea and tension with U.S. and Japan? If Korea regains wartime operational control from U.S., this alone would raise Korea’s defense budget astronomically.

If not for military threat, there is no reason for our nation to maintain its 680,000-strong military forces with taxes and to buy expensive weapons. Korea paid more than three trillion won for North Korea over the last three and half years only to be paid missile launchings and the threat of nuclear tests in return from the North. As things stand as such, it is no wonder the nation’s foundation does not shake when Korea keeps giving to the North in the name of keeping independence, alienating from the U.S. and fighting with Japan.