[EDITORIALS]Time for harmony with U.S.The United Nations Security Council yesterday adopted a resolution to sanction North Korea. The resolution is softer than a U.S. draft resolution but still covers very stern measures. The question is how the South Korean government will respond to it. The government says it will abide by the resolution. But by looking at the atmosphere surrounding the governing party, one wonders whether the administration will implement the resolution as required. Some politicians blame the United States for the North’s nuclear test and some make attempts to lower the level of sanctions.
Kim Keun-tae, Uri party chairman, opposes joining the Proliferation Security Initiative. He also said he would visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex over which Seoul and Washington are debating whether to end or continue business cooperation between South and North Korea.
Another big problem is that the government and the ruling party have revealed their intention to continue business cooperation in the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Mount Kumgang tourism project. Washington believes that cash which is funneled to the North through these businesses is used by North Korea for developing weapons of mass destruction. The South Korean government should consult closely with Washington to make an agreement on this, whether it halts or continues those projects.
Measures which can overly intensify tension on the Korean Peninsula should be avoided. South Korea should have dialogue with North Korea, if needed. However, now is not the right time because North Korea has passed the line by conducting a nuclear test. The most urgent thing to do for now is to make North Korea feel that tremendous punishment is being made against it in return for its nuclear test. It is not too late to have dialogue with Pyongyang after implementing stern sanctions. In this way, the odds in having dialogue become higher.
North Korea does not care about South Korea. The North’s statement regarding its nuclear test is for the United States. It is clear which path South Korea should take. South Korea should know that a resolution cannot view the North’s nuclear crisis as an issue between the two Koreas. The North’s nuclear crisis is an international matter that the United Nations Security Council has intervened in. Thus, perfect cooperation with Washington is needed more than anything else. The ruling party should bear in mind that this is the most crucial time for national security and should drop dangerous ideas.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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