[EDITORIALS]Sea border adrift?The Northern Limit Line has been included on the agenda presented by the South Korean government for the high-level military talks.
To ease tensions and avoid accidental military clashes, the talks are necessary.
Nevertheless, it is hard to understand why the sea border issue had to be included in the agenda.
The government says that this issue will be discussed as a way to reduce military tension with the North. This is just a lame explanation.
Although the North said that this time its agenda is less demanding and aggressive than it used to be, clearly North Korea intends to dispute the current sea border.
Considering the current state of inter-Korean ties, it is nearly impossible to carry out all eight clauses on the agenda.
In 1991, Seoul and Pyongyang already agreed to discuss such issues but obtained no substantial outcomes. When other measures to ease tensions are unlikely to be agreed upon, it is hard to understand why Seoul presented the NLL issue, particularly when the North’s intention is clear.
The Northern Limited Line is a military border and a sea border under international laws. North Korea had respected this line for 20 year until 1973 when it first complained about it. Since then, Pyongyang has tried to make this borderline a disputed area, a challenge to the truce between the two Koreas.
Everybody knows that North Korea would start its attack around the five islands off the west coast should it provoke a clash or even a war. The naval clash of 2002 in the West Sea is a good example of this.
Although the North’s intentions have been well known to people, the South Korean government included the issue in the agenda as North Korea had wished. This is like sending a message to North, “We can give a concession on the Northern Limit Line.”
The Northern Limit Line is the border of freedom that we fought for by putting our lives at risk.
On this matter we cannot move backwards even by an inch. If the government presents lame logic and excuses in order to change the current front line, South Koreans will never forgive that.
Recently President Roh Moo-hyun said, “I would provide institutional assistance to North Korea under no conditions.” When people asked him to clarify the meaning of this remark, this agenda has come out. We wonder if the possible change of the sea border was what he had in his mind.