[EDITORIALS]North tangled in own rope

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[EDITORIALS]North tangled in own rope

North Korea has defended its decision to reactivate mothballed nuclear facilities by saying that its nuclear reactor will generate electricity, denying suspicion of weapons programs. If the North's argument is true, why is its blood ally, China, and friend, Russia, opposing the North's decision? Needless to say, they are concerned about North Korea's nuclear weapons development.

Let us take a good look at the North's fabricated argument that it had never admitted having continued its nuclear program, criticizing the United States for its accusations. North Korea in October was cornered by U.S. envoy, James Kelly, who said Pyeongyang was operating a uranium enrichment program. Pyeongyang, at first, denied the charge, but later admitted that Kelly's assertion was true. North Korea's first vice-minister of foreign affairs explained the North's stance for nearly an hour. Among the U.S. delegation were three U.S. officials who are fluent in Korean, including two Korean-Americans. Mr. Kang's words were translated. It was not a situation in which the United States depended on a single interpretation.

At that time, North Korea defended its actions. Now it is in a state of denial. Accordingly, Pyeongyang should prove it is not developing nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner and allow inspections.

North Korea secretly violated the 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework and got caught. Then, it said it was reactivating its frozen nuclear program, arguing that the reactor is a power generator. The North also tried to take advantage of anti-Americanism in the South.

Why does the North want to develop nuclear weapons? Pyeongyang's nuclear development is meant to target South Korea and bargain with the United States. And yet, the North insists that its actions are intended to protect the South in an attempt to resolve the nuclear issue by negotiating only with the United States.

"Because we have built an impenetrable defense, peace was guaranteed on the peninsula and South Koreans live comfortable lives," North Korean propaganda says. No South Korean will buy that argument. North Korea must give up nuclear weapons development; that is the only way to comfort the South.

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