[EDITORIALS]Start talkingThe Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum will be attended by foreign ministers of the members of the six-party talks, including North Korea.
This is the first time that a North Korean senior foreign affairs official has appeared on the international stage since the North fired seven missiles on July 5. The world is keenly watching how the North Korean authorities respond to recent moves by international society.
The international reaction has been wide-ranging. The United States and Japan have been working on sanctions; Russia and China have been trying their best to resolve the problem through diplomacy.
A United Nations resolution was one result of those efforts. We can assume that it must be hard for North Korea to decide how to react to the UN resolution, although Pyongyang took a hard-line stand right after the adoption of the resolution.
We urge North Korea to understand this. In the 21st century, no country can exist outside the international community. After the end of the Cold War, all countries in the world have increased trade and cooperation in order to achieve prosperity, regardless of ideology and social and political systems.
When North Korea was going through an “arduous march,” international society provided humanitarian aid to North Korea. The communist country must know that it was able to survive its hardship thanks to that aid. Nearly all countries in the world, including the other five members of the six-party talks, international entities and civic groups, willingly donated aid and are still doing so.
International society has no interest in the North Korean authorities’ determination to protect its so-called socialism. International society only wants North Korea to make policies and take steps that other countries, including its neighbors, can understand. North Korea should not make threats, for instance, by launching missiles over the sea without asking for permission from its neighbors.
North Korea should get out of its paranoid thinking that aggressors including the United States are trying to kill its regime. It should cooperate with international society and find ways to realize a “heaven on earth,” the goal it pursues.
Without prosperity, weapons are not enough to protect a regime. The former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries are good examples of that notion. This session of the regional forum is a good chance to resume talks.