[EDITORIALS]Don’t bow to shenanigansAt the 5th round of the inter-Korean economic cooperation committee meeting in Pyeongyang, North Korea threatened the South with a dreadful disaster. That is totally unacceptable. South Korea’s delegation visited the North, despite the serious nuclear situation, to discuss plans to help ease the North's economic crisis, including a delivery of 400,000 tons of rice. The South Korean delegation deserves polite treatment, but the North has been uncooperative intentionally.
Regarding the outcome of the recent U.S.-South Korea summit, North Korea’s chief delegate said, “the South side will sustain an unspeakable disaster if it turns to confrontation, talking about the ‘nuclear issue’ and ‘additional measures.’” North Korea tried to blame the South by putting the cart before the horse. That is typical of the North. The two Koreas agreed to ban nuclear weapons from the peninsula, but the North sparked this crisis, cheating behind our back. Furthermore, Seoul’s delegates went to the North to create an environment to resolve the situation peacefully and to provide a large amount of food and fertilizer. But the North assumed a harsh attitude toward the South. How can our people possibly support Seoul’s policy of assisting the North? North Korea must apologize immediately and promise no recurrence of this familiar behavior.
North Korea made clear its intention to trample on the South whenever Pyeongyang confronts an unfavorable situation. Thus, the government must not see this as an isolated incident. If the North continues on this course of action, we must reconsider our North Korea policy. The government must consider seriously that the Kim Dae-jung administration’s conciliatory North Korea policy cultivated the North’s arrogance. President Roh Moo-hyun has already said that the South should not let the North push it around under any circumstance. While the benefactor is losing its nerve, the beneficiary is shouting threats. North Korea appeared reluctant to accept our support, but the South implored Pyeongyang to relent, fearing that inter-Korean relations might come to a full stop. We should not repeat such a folly.
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