[EDITORIALS]Some Advice to the Two KoreasDialogue between North Korea and South Korea is expected to resume during September, barring any unexpected occurrence. The government is planning to send a reply accepting the North's proposal Sunday to reopen government-level dialogue. Hoping that the resumption of official contacts between the two governments would provide opportunities for activating various North-South talks and establish reconciliation and cooperative relations into full scale, we would advise both governments as follows:
First of all, we want to remind the two governments that there are no special ways to achieve reunification other than solidifying reconciliation and cooperative policies. In that sense, we feel very sorry that the North's insincerity, reflected in the North's freezing of talks, including the fifth minister-level discussions originally planned for March, blocked solutions through negotiations on pending issues and ultimately damaged President Kim Dae-jung's sunshine policy to a great extent. Thus, the North should demonstrate a serious intention to improve relations with the South, taking the resumption of contacts in September as an opportunity.
The two sides should realize that fruitful results will not be produced if they think reconciliation and cooperative policies are controlled by certain individuals or governments of the countries. There could be immediate results if issues related to North-South relations were managed by certain political parties or individuals, however, in the long-term these actions could keep relations from improving. Thus, the two countries should establish and activate policies transparently. Then, misunderstandings and suspicions would surely be reduced. Naturally and gradually, relations between the North and the South will improve, and we will be able to achieve reunification after all.
North Korea has initiated exchanges with Russia and China and has been asked by the United States to hold talks.
Expectations on the resumption of dialogue between South and North are greater this time because the reunification festival in Pyongyang ended in "success," and as a result, the atmosphere to reopen talks has improved inside and outside North Korea. The two Koreas should solve various issues, such as the Mount. Kumgang tourism business, the reconnection of the Kyongui railway line, and the establishment of the Kaeseong industrial complex, as soon as possible. Most of all, Chairman Kim Jong-il should keep his promise to visit Seoul, which would help a great deal in achieving reconciliation and cooperation.
The South Korean government should prepare for dialogue thoroughly and transparently, with the approval of the public. It should also put forth effort to gain the understanding and support of the opposition party, and the opposition should approve the government's policies in return. The North and the South should work in harmony so that the unification minister's dismissal will not damage the essence of the sunshine policy. Now is the time, especially for the North, to demonstrate great effort.