&#91EDITORIALS&#93Envoy must talk tough

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[EDITORIALS]Envoy must talk tough

As a result of the ninth inter-Korean cabinet-level talks, a South Korean presidential envoy will visit North Korea. The talks took place amidst the rising international community's interests in North Korea's nuclear aspirations. South Korean delegates explained the seriousness of the situation to the North Koreans and urged them to resolve the issue based on the international norm. In response, North Korea reiterated its previous statements that it had no intention to build nuclear weapons and that the nuclear issue is a matter between Washington and Pyeongyang. Since the North showed no change in its attitude, the envoy to the North is carrying an important mission.

The United States is trying to send the matter to the UN Security Council. A Russian presidential envoy visited Pyeongyang and presented a so-called "package plan" to resolve the situation. Representative Chung Dong-young, a delegate of President-elect Roh Moo-hyun, presented an inclusive resolution at the World Economic Forum in Davos, calling the proposal "a Marshall Plan for North Korea."

All such plans are aimed at a peaceful resolution. The mission of the South Korean envoy to the North is also to find a way to resolve the rapidly mounting tensions on the peninsula through dialogue and negotiations. The envoy must tell Pyeongyang its argument, that Korean blood is thicker than anything, is ridiculous. The envoy should also tell the North Koreans about the international community's efforts to help the North have a better understanding of the reality.

The envoy should also make clear that Pyeongyang's attempt to skirt Seoul by insisting that the matter is a bilateral one between the United States and North Korea is a bad choice. South Koreans are directly threatened by the North's nuclear programs. The resolutions proposed so far require South Korea's economic contributions and other initiatives.

Our envoy can convey the North's message clearly to the United States and other countries. Pyeongyang must remember that resolving the current situation is only possible when it weighs the role of Seoul in the negotiations. That is what cooperation between the two Koreas really means.
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