[EDITORILAS]Let's Keep the Dialogue GoingNorth and South Korea are planning to hold the fifth round of ministerial talks starting Saturday after a six-month suspension of dialogue. We hope the talks will proceed smoothly; North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland announced that it "will do its best in opening the event which was prepared after long and heartfelt consideration." We cannot resolve North-South issues if we continue to blame each other for suspending dialogue. Instead, we should participate in the event with earnest attitudes to achieve reconciliation, cooperation and the peaceful reunification that the two sides promised at last June's summit.
In order to prevent a cycle of dialogue suspensions and restarts, we should do our best to make these dialogues a regular event between the two countries. Unification Minister Hong Soon-young also said this, and we hope the North will support the idea. The North should realize that it is hard to impress the public in the South by throwing a "surprise party" once in a while.
During the dialogue, both sides should try to solve the separated family issue as soon as possible. Providing opportunities for reunions of separated families or letting them exchange letters is just not enough. Instead, both sides should alleviated the sufferings of the separated families by establishing a meeting place for them. Without such efforts, it will be hard to gain public support for cooperation with North Korea.
In order to solve issues related to economic cooperation, such as the reconnection of the Kyongui railroad line and the construction of an industrial complex in Kaesong, we need to plan well. North Korea will surely ask again for electricity, and that matter should be handled carefully by the economic cooperation committee.
In the wake of terrorism in the United States, many people worry about an unstable security situation on the Korean Peninsula. We hope the North and South, on this occasion, take a meaning step towards easing military tension between the two. If it takes time to reach such an agreement, the two governments should think about President Kim's idea for a joint denunciation of terrorism. Such an action is necessary for the North to improve its image internationally.