[LETTERS to the editor]U.S., South Korea are also at faultNorth Korea test-fired missiles over the East Sea, causing much uproar and instability in the already volatile East Asian region.
It is highly regrettable that North Korea ignored warnings from its neighboring countries and fired the missiles anyway. However, South Korea and the United States should also be blamed. The true motive behind the test-firing is not yet clear. Considering North Korea’s past actions, it is highly probable it is using the military threat as a strategy to pursue its interests. In the mid-1990s, the fear that the North might develop nuclear weapons enabled it to receive oil and aid for electricity from the Clinton administration.
However, if North Korea plans to use the same strategy again, it is seriously mistaken. The Bush administration is not going to give in easily. What North Korea is doing right now is undermining South Korea’s hard-earned trust in the North, harming both. The South Korean government should also be criticized for having failed to nurture trust and close relations with the North. If both Koreas had a more solid relationship, it might have been easier to bring North Korea back to the stalled six-party talks or to find alternatives. The hawkish policies of the United States are also largely responsible for causing the missile test. When North Korea demanded bilateral talks with the U.S., it should have at least tried to listen to what the North really wanted. Also, the U.S. kept worsening the tension by naming North Korea in an “axis of evil” and calling it “a rogue state.”
by Lim Hye-Song