[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Prepare for the worst

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Prepare for the worst

The editorial “Stop downplaying the crisis” (May 13) was remarkably consistent with my own view of North Korea’s nuclear brinkmanship and Seoul's inadequate handling of this grave situation. I have, for weeks, been pondering the question of why the South Korean government persistently downplays its Northern counterpart's nuclear crisis.
This was the case during last month’s nuclear reactor shutdown in Yongbyon, the testing of a short-range missile two weeks ago and, most recently, an imminent nuclear test in the Kilju area. Is this groundless optimism, even ostentation, or does the Roh administration have a plan up its sleeve? To quote from the senior JoongAng Ilbo columnist Byun Sang-keun's column, "Time to choose words carefully" (May 12), "The secret of national security is to assume the worst and prepare for it."
I strongly advise Seoul to acknowledge the fact that the best way to confront the crisis is not denial, but preparing for the worst-case scenario: a nuclear test on the Korean peninsula.

by Joseph Lee
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