[EDITORIALS]Resolve the Korean crisis

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[EDITORIALS]Resolve the Korean crisis

The political climate on the Korean Peninsula is uncertain again this year. Domestic legislative elections will take place in April and the U.S. presidential election is scheduled in November.
As efforts to rebuild war-torn Iraq gain momentum, Libya and Iran have declared their intentions to give up weapons of mass destruction and agreed to allow international inspection. Such changes will heighten the international community’s attention to the North Korean nuclear program.
We must set forth an outline to end Pyeongyang’s nuclear ambitions this year, because the matter not only plays a decisive role in our security but also in our economic recovery. We must see tangible progress in inter-Korean relations in order to help both Koreas. But the unresolved North Korean nuclear problem is blocking us. Unless the nuclear crisis is resolved, the two Koreas can never win the trust of the international community.
To improve inter-Korean relations substantially, it is important to reach a consensus with other countries, including the United States, on how to resolve the nuclear crisis. The South Korea-U.S. alliance must be reinforced this year because Pyeongyang’s Cold War-era policy toward Seoul has disturbed the security of the peninsula. When Seoul and Washington hold hands tightly in dealing with proliferation and nuclear issues, North Korea will realize it must change.
We should expand our humanitarian cooperation but base our policy on stern reciprocity, especially in matters dealing with our nation’s security.
Inter-Korean relations should no longer be an ideological confrontation. South Korea’s national interests must be the priority. Security issues must be resolved based on the U.S.-South Korea alliance while humanitarian support continues.
This year, we want to see no more ideological confrontations here of the kind we saw last year. Anti-American demonstrations and protests against left-wing activists must not be repeated. That is the only way to get our economy growing again.
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