[EDITORIALS]Another Yellow Sea incidentA North Korean patrol boat crossed the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea and retreated after the South Korean Navy fired warning shots. The intrusion was made despite South Korea’s broadcast of four warnings over agreed radio channels. The North also gave no explanation of the border crossing, completely ignoring the agreement between the two Koreas’ militaries made only a month ago.
We have already expressed our concern that the issue of the Northern Limit Line was not clearly addressed at the talks. That concern is now confirmed. We suspect that North Korea made the agreement only as a gesture and in order to receive food aid.
We are enraged by the North’s attitude of ignoring an agreement even before the ink on the document was dry. That is why the North never earns the trust of the international community. Continuing to break promises so easily will never benefit the North, because not only inter-Korean economic cooperation but also international aid cannot get under way properly under such circumstances.
The latest border violation shows that North Korea’s strategy of stimulating disputes near the Northern Limit Line remains unchanged. Seoul must not face the North’s negotiating tactics unwisely. Because the South did not clearly raise the issue of honoring the Northern Limit Line, the North is taking advantage of the loophole. Our military must reflect on its use of an ambiguous attitude in talks. The fine words about establishing hot lines and reaching fruitful conclusions in defense talks were nothing more than blowing their own horn.
From now on, we must show the North that it must pay dearly for violating an agreement. We should let the North know that the promised rice aid could be reconsidered. If the North continues to ignore agreements, tensions in the Yellow Sea will continue to rise.
The government also decided to drop the term “main enemy” as an identification of North Korea from the Defense White Paper. If our preparations to deter the North weaken in any way because of that, the nation will feel even greater disgust. The administration must remember that.
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