[EDITORIALS]What is the North up to?

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[EDITORIALS]What is the North up to?

The latest North Korean gesture taken in the aftermath of the exchange of fire in the Yellow Sea raises questions on the North Koreans' real intentions. They showed their duplicity by intruding the Northern Limit Line and attacking our patrol boats, while proposing dialogue emphasizing exchanges and cooperation. The North's proposal may be a harassing tactic by the Communist Party or it might be conveying a message that it does not want to create tension because of the exchange of fire. We should watch the developments of events closely. If the North puts more weight on the latter, it should first apologize for the attack and punish those responsible for the incident.

If the North takes such measures, the statement issued by the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of Fatherland on the occasion of the July 4 South-North Joint Declaration and the the editorial of the Rodong Shinmun would carry more weight. The unification committee asked that "the North-South relations be developed to relations of dialogue and cooperation instead of confrontation and war." The editorial emphasized that both Koreas should promote free passage and contact of people.

We ask the North: Who provoked the military action breaking the spirit of the July 4 joint declaration and the June 15 declaration? Which side is blocking the flow of South-North exchanges, cooperation and dialogue? The North said that the exchange of fire in the Yellow Sea broke out because of different views over the demarcation line in the Yellow Sea. It seems that the North wants to explain its action as an "accidental by-product" of the dispute over territorial waters. If the Northern Limit Line is the source of the conflict, the problem should be solved through a long process of dialogue and negotiations.

Also the issues of joint fishing areas and crab fishing can be solved through talks. But the North stabbed us in the back while it emphasized the importance of dialogue and cooperation. The North should show the courage of recognizing its own wrongdoing so that the spirit of North-South joint declarations can materialized.
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