[EDITORIALS]Cooperation needed nowSouth Korea’s relations with the United States are at a crossroads to cooperation or to discord regarding the implementation of sanctions against the North. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit tomorrow and is expected to strongly oppose the South Korean government’s perception about how to implement the sanctions against the North.
Before this visit, she said she believed the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Mount Kumgang tourism project have a lot to do with the North’s nuclear development program. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said implementing the inspection of North Korean ships under the resolution is the most critical point of discussion between the two countries.
Secretary of State Rice also said both countries should share not only the benefits of joint security, but also the burden. This can be translated as a message that South Korea should change its stance if it wants to receive security help from the United States.
The South Korean government is in a dilemma. But it can find the answer if it considers which is its most urgent choice for survival. The government should abandon its idea that it will use this issue politically by disagreeing with Washington. Instead, Seoul should show its intention and determination to work with the United States.
The government should change its stance on joining the Proliferation Security Initiative. If it clings to its stance not to and thus reveals the cracks between the two countries, our country will take an extreme security risk.
Economic research institutes have said that foreign investors in Korea consider whether or not Korea and the United States implement sanctions in a harmonized manner as the most important factor for now.
Since North Korea conducted its nuclear test, the South Korean administration has been divided over its reactions on a range of matters, including joining the Proliferation Security Initiative. That is because the administration believes that soft measures toward the North will help ease tensions, instead of seeing the nuclear crisis as an international matter.
The North’s nuclear crisis becomes increasingly pressing as North Korea has declared it would risk war if necessary. South Korea should find a balance. When it does not have a deterrent to nuclear weapons, clinging to the Kaesong Complex does not help our national security. Perfect cooperation with international society, including the United States, is the only alternative for now.