[EDITORIALS]No profit in joint projects

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[EDITORIALS]No profit in joint projects

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution of sanctions on North Korea.
What is most noteworthy is the sanctions committee that is to control the sanctions. The member countries must report on the contents of the sanctions within 30 days of adopting the resolution. This committee reports the member countries’ performance every 90 days to the Security Council. The committee also holds the right to interpret the content of the resolution in parts where it is unclear.
In short, we can read the Security Council’s strong will that it will not take these sanctions loosely.
With the adoption of the resolution, all eyes are focused on what will happen to the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang Tour program.
The government announced clearly that it will continue with the two projects. It claims that there is no evidence that the money for these projects has been used for development of weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the government argues that these two projects are normal commercial deals and the resolution does not ban such projects.
However, this is just a short-sighted idea. More than $20 million has been transmitted to North Korea through these two projects. The government paid $12 million just to use the Kaesong site. The chances are very slim that the sanctions committee will take the South Korean government’s side, even if it proves the money was not used for weapons development.
In economic terms, the situation of the Kaesong Complex has become difficult. In an extremely unstable environment, how can general economic activities continue normally? In particular, we can now say good bye to Kaesong products being acknowledged as Korean products in the U.S.-Korea free trade negotiations. If this is the case, although we can squeeze some profits from low labor costs, it is clear that the profit sheet will not be promising. There are still visitors to Mount Kumgang, but isn’t it clear what will happen if things worsen?
In the end, if the government continues these projects, there will be no real profit for them. It would instead bring conflict with the United States and raise criticism of not upholding the resolution. The company losses will also increase. Bearing this in mind, the government should drastically change its way of thinking.
The government also announced that it will not increase its participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative. Of course, a cautious approach is needed on this matter. However, if the government limits its participation in sending inspection teams, as it did before the nuclear test, does that mean that it will give up cooperating with America?
The government should first increase its participation and then look for ways to avoid tension escalating during the procedures.
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