[EDITORIALS]Reconsideration neededThe government has finalized the content of a report regarding sanctions on North Korea, which it will submit to the United Nations Sanctions Committee. Sources say that the paper generally states that Seoul will strictly abide by the standards set forth by the international strategic materials control system. It also states that the South Korean government will continue both the Mount Kumgang tourism program and the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Separately, the report allegedly states that while Seoul supports the principles of the Proliferation Security Initiative, it will not officially participate in the program as it believes that sanctioning Pyongyang will heighten tensions.
Several days before North Korea performed its nuclear test, President Roh Moo-hyun said that we must clarify the consequences of tests to the Kim Jong-il regime. Also during his visit to the United States in September, Mr. Roh was quoted as saying that a nuclear test would be the most shocking event to occur. These remarks, however, have all turned out to be idle talk. There were no strict warnings for Pyongyang and the government did not show any sort of shock after the nuclear test took place.
Also, it seems this administration has made up its mind to consider sanctions as a formality. Even considering that the current government has no principles whatsoever, it should not mock the public like this.
An even greater problem is that the administration shouts that it will not allow North Korea to possess nuclear weapons without any concrete plans to back that pledge up.
Instead, it only announces measures to soothe the North even though the Sunshine Policy that it has supported eventually led to the recent nuclear test. If the current administration’s plans have even the slightest possibility of making North Korea forfeit its nuclear arms, they are worth considering. But we know that the odds of that happening are close to zero. The plans will only worsen Seoul’s isolation in the international community and bring a negative effect to its relations with the United States.