[EDITORIALS]DumbfoundedYesterday, the senior secretary to the president for public information posted an article entitled, “The nation must get rid of the ghost of past dictatorships in the name of national security” on the Blue House Web site. If that is the official Blue House view of the recent North Korean missile test launches, we have much to worry about. A simple matter of an amateur government with an immature response system can easily be fixed. The problem, however, comes when the officials in charge of national security fail to recognize threats as such, and equate media that criticize their mistakes with “traitors who flourished under the national security-feigning dictatorships of yore.” Holding a meeting (on the missile launches) originally scheduled for 11 a.m. a few hours early would not have plunged the nation into chaos. But the appalling thing is that the government is looking at the missile incident as a fire on the other side of the river.
Civilian aircraft carrying hundreds of passengers, and fishing vessels and their crews, were being allowed to freely traverse areas within firing range of the North Korean missiles. We can thus only muster a reaction of dumbfounded amazement when the Blue House issues statements such as, “The first and foremost interest of the president is the safety of the Korean people, and the second is to deal with all sources of anxiety and unease.” The Blue House claimed that the North Korean missile was “not targeted toward anyone,” and that it did not pose any sort of danger. Does that mean that there is no problem with the North Korean development of nuclear weapons, just as long as they are not aimed toward the South?
Every leader of every nation surrounding the Korean peninsula has issued a public statement. One cannot help but wonder why the South Korean president, of all people, has yet to break his silence. The Blue House continues to claim that, “Increasing the tension on the Korean peninsula or worsening North-South relations ... will be of no help in resolving the nuclear problem nor the missile issue.” So does that mean that regardless of whether the North fires missiles or manufacturers nuclear arms, we need to shut up and keep those dollars flowing northward, dollars that could be being used for the very purpose of supporting such heinous projects?
Does the Blue House really think that sarcastically accusing neighboring countries of “political cunning” and “using the missile affair as an excuse to increase military spending,” is instrumental to a diplomatic handling of the situation?