[EDITORIALS]Korea, unified in isolation

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[EDITORIALS]Korea, unified in isolation

The Chinese minister of public security recently visited the United States and signed a memorandum of understanding, consisting of five clauses aimed at preventing North Korea from producing counterfeit bills and laundering money.
China plans to provide Washington with financial data regarding North Korea’s production of counterfeit dollars.
This shows that the two countries are increasingly cooperating in North Korea policy. Cooperation between Beijing and Washington against North Korea has already been present, in the adoption of the United Nations resolution condemning North Korea’s missile launches and freezing the country’s accounts in China’s banks.
Last year, the United States declared that China is an equal and important member in the current international system. This is the concept of China becoming a “stakeholder,” as suggested by Robert Zoellick, the U.S. deputy secretary of state. This concept means that the two countries, as equal partners, share a sense of responsibility for international issues and work together to resolve problems.
China did the right thing for a country that has been looking forward to increasing its clout in international society.
The signing of the memorandum by China came out of this context. China has taken a stern stance against North Korea’s illegal acts, such as the production and distribution of counterfeit bills. China worried its international status would have lowered significantly if it had protected North Korea.
China took such a hard-line stance, even though it is the North’s ally. However, the South Korean government still seems to embrace North Korea and even its illegal practices. For instance, South Korea did not attend a meeting about North Korea’s counterfeiting convened by Interpol. The South Korean police said it was unnecessary for them to spend money to attend a one-day meeting ― a pathetic excuse. This shows that the government’s main interest is to avoid angering North Korea.
To prevent the production and distribution of counterfeited bills, the cooperation of all nations is a prerequisite. There can be no doubt that South Korea should work with other nations. Yet it instead defends North Korea, saying that there is no conclusive evidence, and decides not to attend an Interpol meeting on the issue. South Korea will come to be treated in the same way North Korea is. It seems to be trying hard to become isolated in international society ― something we cannot allow to happen.
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