[EDITORIALS]Time to show some concernForeign Minister Ban Ki-moon has said that the situation regarding North Korea’s nuclear program cannot be considered hopeful at the moment, and the patience of the international community has reached its limit. His words indicate that there seems to be little chance for the “major turning point for a peaceful solution” that he mentioned only a few days ago.
As Mr. Ban has said, the North Korean nuclear crisis is reaching a serious point. The leaders of the United States and China, after recent urgent talks over the telephone, have expressed their concerns over Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The tension between North Korea and the United States is running especially high over the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test.
But our government’s reaction seems puzzlingly inadequate. A Uri Party lawmaker even suggested that a North Korean nuclear test could be a call for negotiations. Another legislator blamed “the irresponsible reporting of foreign media and the neoconservative forces behind it.”
Of course, we do not know how the situation will end. There is no need to cause panic among the public with doomsday talk. But the governing party, with its responsibility for national security, should also keep the worst-case scenario in mind and set all countermeasures accordingly. What if North Korea does indeed conduct a nuclear test?
The government’s reaction is just as frustrating. It seems that only the foreign minister is mentioning that there is a crisis. All the other ministers are keeping silent about this urgent issue.
The government needs to review whether its reaction so far had been appropriate. It had predicted that North Korea would return to the six-party talks, but it does not even have any reliable communication channel with Pyongyang at the moment. Albeit belatedly, the government should come up with a blueprint to deal with the North Korean nuclear issue and explain it to the public. If it continues to act as unworried and equivocal as it is doing now, we could indeed face grave danger.