[EDITORIALS]Irresponsible nuclear talk

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[EDITORIALS]Irresponsible nuclear talk

At a meeting with members of the Korean Veterans Association, President Roh Moo-hyun allegedly defended North Korea’s nuclear weapons development program.
The Blue House said the president did not flatly say that the North’s nuclear weapons were being developed for defensive purposes, as was reported.
But the Blue House did not give out a quotation of Mr. Roh’s words, and did not deny that he referred to the North’s programs in some way. It is most likely that the president did actually say something sympathetic about the North’s weapons, because during a visit to Los Angeles in 2004 he claimed that there was some truth in North Korea’s argument that its nuclear program was for its own protection.
The Roh administration’s policy on North Korea can simply be summed up as unconditionally covering for and defending North Korea.
The South Korean administration remains reluctant to comment on North Korea’s human right issues as well as the abduction of South Koreans, which the global community in one strong voice consistently urges be resolved. Instead, Seoul constantly announces it is giving something to North Korea. Such measures aren’t working in soothing North Korea.
It’s hard to accept why Mr. Roh is speaking in this way on an issue that affects us intimately. If nuclear weapons were developed for defensive purposes, what country would not develop them?
Since Mr. Roh has such a tolerant attitude toward the North’s nuclear program, it is obvious why North Korea is reluctant to rejoin the six-party talks.
The biggest problem, of course, is that when a South Korean president acknowledges North Korea’s right to nuclear weapons, South Korea’s security will be shaken to the foundation.
Without any explanation of how our security can be guaranteed, who is Mr. Roh representing? What sort of thoughts will fill the minds of young soldiers on the Demilitarized Zone?
Are all those assertions that the administration will never accept North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapon just empty rhetoric? It is absurd to contend that there are separate types of nuclear weapons exclusively used for defensive and for offensive purposes. Mr. Roh should learn that such duplicity and irresponsible comments are why his party did so badly in the local government elections.

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