[EDITORIALS]Korea, an ambivalent addictCountries possessing energy resources like oil and natural gas have always tried to make their voices heard on the international political stage by weaponizing their resources, but the phenomenon has recently shown signs of worsening. Russia, for example, struck at Ukraine by cutting off its supply of natural gas earlier this year due to the Ukrainian government’s pro-Western stance.
U.S. President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address last week touched on this trend. Mr. Bush called the American consumption of oil an “addiction.” He set a goal of cutting crude oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent through the use and development of alternative energy by 2025.
Korea’s report card in the race for energy resources, however, fails to meet even mediocre levels. Of the 1,733 oil and natural gas mines that were up for sale last year, the nation succeeded in securing only three. Even in President Roh Moo-hyun’s address earlier this year, not a single comment was made regarding the urgency of securing energy resources. While the rest of the world races to get their hands on more resources, our government is looking at the situation like a spectator, despite the fact that Korean soil doesn’t have a single drop of oil.
The government must focus all of its abilities on securing additional energy resources before it is too late. One example is France, which despite having no natural resources succeeded in raising its energy self-sufficiency ratio to 93 percent by supporting the growth of the oil company Total. The Korean government must not hesitate to lend its hand in developing a world-leading oil company.