[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Using ‘soft’ powerPresident Roh’s notion of Korea’s “balancer” role in Northeast Asia has indeed been much disputed, in part lauded, but largely censured.
I believe that the idea is generally applaudable if it is not the same obsolete one “envisioned” in the 1998 defense paper. As stated in the article “‘Balancer’ idea not a new one,” in Saturday’s JoongAng Daily, the document proposed in 1998 seems like it only focused on military power, alias hard power.
It is manifest that Mr. Roh’s new balancer role is different, as the use of soft power is underscored. Wholeheartedly, I see soft power, or the power to get others to want the same goals you do, as a valuable asset.
In the new century, it has become an important source of power, while military and economic power have become relatively less significant.
In this sense, for Korea to play a viable balancer role, I believe that President Roh should set forth policies that are concentrated on reflecting Korea’s soft power.
by Christine Hong