[EDITORIALS]Follow the leaderBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair and Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya met yesterday and declared that they will become partners in the fight against terrorism.
The announcement by Libya, which had until recently been on the U.S. list of “rogue states,” that it would stand along with the United States and the United Kingdom in the war against terrorism illustrates the changes in the landscape of international politics following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York: practical interests and coexistence have emerged as new diplomatic principles when the world shares anti-terrorism sentiment.
Libya has been suspected of engaging in international terrorist acts, such as providing shelter to the bombers of a Pam Am jet in 1988 and providing weapons to the Irish Republican Army.
It had also used confrontation and violence rather than cooperation and coexistence in the international community while expressing its blunt hate for the United States and other Western countries.
Such behavior, in contrast with Mr. Qaddafi’s dream to build a strong, rich country in North Africa, brought isolation and pain to the Libyan people.
The change in Libya’s attitude is because since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, there is a broad understanding in the world that weapons of mass destruction cannot be allowed, and that the regimes or leaders that resist are likely to meet the fate of Saddam Hussein.
As Libya ends its weapons program, admits and apologizes for its past terrorist acts and promises compensation, Mr. Qaddafi has a chance to open new, amicable relations with the West.
North Korea considers nuclear weapons the basis for the safety of its regime. We urge Pyeongyang to recognize the sentiment throughout the world and make a new start. If North Korea keeps increasing its arms spending when its people are starving, and confronts the international community with nuclear power that is nothing compared to what the Western countries have, its regime is not safe.
Kim Jong-il must seize the opportunity while the West is willing to talk. Mr. Qaddafi has done it. Now it is Kim Jong-il’s turn.