[EDITORIALS]Clarify Roh’s remarksThe confusion surrounding President Roh Moo-hyun’s remarks in Mongolia is only increasing. While no one can really explain what the president meant by saying Seoul would “provide unconditional support in systems and goods” to the North, debate is heating up that the remarks meant the implementation of an independent policy from Washington by Seoul in regards to the North, or conversely, that this wasn’t the case.
The main reason this confusion is occurring is because the president’s remarks were made impromptu and his speech included, depending on the interpretation, expressions that seemed to stress an independent policy free of influence from Washington.
In addition, although the government is denying it, reports circulating that prior to the president embarking on his trip to Mongolia and other countries, a senior security meeting took place at the Blue House in which it was decided to implement an independent policy from the United States in regards to the North in order to move stalled nuclear talks forward, have made it harder to decide what is true.
In addition, Moon Chung-in, a close aide to the president, has said, “The U.S. President George W. Bush is losing patience with President Roh Moo-hyun,” further fueling people’s anxiety.
While the remarks by Mr. Moon, the Unification Ministry and the president only underline the confusion and the different analyses taking place, they also leave a question mark on what exactly the country’s policy on unification is. If the analysis and explanation of a close aide to the president and the Unification Ministry is different, what should people believe?
No one opposes the notion that Korea needs to try harder in order to resolve the impasse in the six-party talks and to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Nevertheless, this goal needs to be achieved on the basis of an appropriate process, close consultation and agreement with our ally. It cannot be achieved through impromptu remarks or secret consultations.
The main reason for the stalled six-party talks is North Korea. Nevertheless, when the cause of the problem has not changed, to say that Seoul is willing to make large concessions or provide “support in systems” and to create confusion among people is not appropriate. The Blue House and those surrounding the president should stop confusing people with impromptu remarks and analyses and provide a clear explanation that can erase doubts.