[EDITORIALS]Nuclear sunshine?

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[EDITORIALS]Nuclear sunshine?

After a report that the U.S. government has decided to end the 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework, Washington has to clarify its stance. James Kelly, the U.S. assistant secretary of state currently visiting Japan, said that whether to scrap the accord or not will be determined later after careful deliberation. It is not clear whether Washington has yet made up its mind.

Since North Korea admitted its secret nuclear program and called the accord "nullified," Washington believes that the bilateral accord was in effect voided.

The South Korean government's attitude regarding the nullification of the 1994 accord is unclear, however.

Although there is a great possibility that the Bush administration will scrap the agreement, Seoul persists in denying the possibility. Washington, of course, will consult with us and other countries concerning the nuclear issue, and will want to avoid the dangers of ending the agreement without any alternative measures planned. But the Kim administration's naive stance will create anxiety among our people, because the North's nuclear program is an imminent threat to our survival.

The government says it wants to persist in promoting economic cooperation with the North while resolving the nuclear issue; that is an attitude that flies in the face of the hard-line stance in other countries.

The government must draft its measures taking into account the possible revision -- or nullification -- of the Geneva agreement. It should also consider how to deal with the 1991 inter-Korean Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. With the North's admission, not only the Geneva agreement, but also the nuclear agreement between the two Koreas has been violated.

The government must remember that the spirit of a nuclear-free peninsula agreed between the two Koreas had already been damaged by the need for the 1994 Geneva agreement. Studying the inter-Korean joint declaration in this new light will help us resolve the North Korean nuclear issue; it will also provide an opportunity for us to voice our concerns in future talks on peninsula affairs with the North.
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