[EDITORIALS]North’s last chanceThe confrontation between the United States and North Korea over Pyeongyang’s nuclear aspirations has been gradually eased since the six-way talks last month. Although they attached conditions, U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell are talking of changed positions to ease North Korea’s security concerns.
“We will have to make a judgment with our allies, over the next few weeks and before the next meeting, as to what kind of security assurances would be satisfactory for all of us to provide to the North Koreans,” Mr. Powell said in Washington on Friday. Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan also said Monday that Mr. Bush told him Monday that the United States was preparing to address the North’s security concerns.
Major U.S. media reported that the United States had shifted its North Korea policy in which the two sides would act simultaneously to dismantle Pyeongyang’s nuclear programs and to offer the North security assurances and assistance.
Other comments and reports also confirm that Washington has been shifting its strategy toward the North to a more accommodating one. The possibility of resolving the nuclear crisis peacefully is brighter.
North Korea’s attitude is now crucial. Pyeongyang must show some changes based on an accurate understanding of reality. The North should never believe that the United States will reward its blackmail and nuclear brinkmanship. North Korea must be aware that it is facing its last opportunity to resolve the situation peacefully, and that the international community gave it that chance with much difficulty.
North Korea must not take any action that would disturb the status quo. The North must make clear that it does not want to possess nuclear weapons and that it is ready to give up its nuclear development capabilities. It should join the international community and seize this chance. We expect that North Korea will show a realistic and responsible change in its attitude to contribute to the mutual coexistence of the two Koreas, prosperity in Northeast Asia and world peace.