[EDITORIALS]Pray that war may be briefThe war against Iraq has begun. It is tragic that diplomatic efforts failed to resolve the crisis. But the war has begun, and South Korea has agreed to do its duty as a half-century ally of the United States by dispatching a noncombat force. President Roh Moo-hyun declared his support for the U.S. action and said Seoul will send an engineering battalion and medical forces and contribute to the war’s expense. That is an appropriate decision that befits our national interest. Public South Korean support will strengthen trust between Seoul and Washington for the future resolution of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions; Seoul will have a strong voice in the process.
With this Iraq War, the United Nations as a forum for the resolution of disputes, after 50 years since World War II, is no longer effective. The veto right of the permanent members of the UN Security Council has faded in importance. The order of the international community, which was evolving from a bipolar system into a multilateral framework, will inevitably be restructured, with the American superpower in the center. Where Korea will stand in this time of change is directly connected to our destiny. As long as the international order is composed of sovereign states, the final method of resolving disputes will be the diplomacy of power. The Iraq War proves that.
North Korea is a constituent of the “axis of evil.” It is heightening tensions in Northeast Asia by resuming its mothballed nuclear program and testing missiles. What South Korea will choose to do in these circumstances will greatly affect our nation’s interests. Thus, dispatching Korean troops was unavoidable to solidify the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
We hoped for a peaceful resolution. Because the war has now begun, we hope it may end at the earliest possible date with minimal casualties. South Korea should actively participate in relief work and the protection of refugees. We should contribute humanitarian aid to rebuild Iraq.
“We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people,” President George W. Bush said. To restore the trust and mend the rupture of the international community, the U.S. should stick to these war aims.