[EDITORIALS]Showing some backboneNorth Korean fishing boats have intruded across the Northern Limit Line every day since May 26 except for last Thursday. Our navy fired warning shots on Sunday for the first time in the current series of intrusions, but the boats violated the marine border again yesterday.
Our government has begun the shipment of 200,000 tons of fertilizer and 400,000 tons of rice to the North despite the continuation of the North Korean nuclear problem. If the North continues to play games like this, the new government’s policy of supporting the North is not likely to get much support from the public. And that is why the North must stop the border violations immediately.
There is something unnerving about the intrusions that continued despite the warning shots fired yesterday. The fishing boats may not be crossing the line just to get more crabs. It is possible that the North Korean government is trying to create tension in the South and test our defensive readiness through the disguise of fishing boats looking for a better catch. Our navy must be prepared to act on any kind of contingency that resembles the mobilization of North Korean warships that led to the fatal exchange of fire last June 29. North Korea must be convinced that the intrusions by fishing boats will be stopped and its acts of aggression will fail.
The military acted properly when it fired warning shots, and we are glad that they were large-caliber guns. The government should also let it be known that if the North Korean authorities continue to condone intrusions by fishing boats, we will take substantive steps, such as delaying aid shipments. There must be a clear signal that this administration will do some things differently than the last one, which was only dragged around by North Korea.