[EDITORIALS]Action, not words, neededAt the summit meeting in Hanoi, Presidents Roh Moo-hyun and George W. Bush agreed on an identical position for the six-party talks.
The two leaders agreed to provide North Korea with economic aid and ensure its regime if it gives up its nuclear program.
Pyongyang’s nuclear program is definitely wrong, but the two countries are willing to provide it with another opportunity once it takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program.
The fact that the leaders of both countries directly announced the policy sends the North Korean leadership an absolutely clear message.
North Korea must no longer neglect the advice of not only the two presidents, but also of the international community.
It must know full well that its strategy of being recognized as a nuclear weapon possessing nation while enjoying the benefits of the six-party talks is unacceptable.
As U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared, none of the remaining nations in the six-party talks will allow such behavior.
In the meantime, North Korea’s economy is worsening. If the sanctions on North Korea continue until spring, it is expected to come short of the required amount of grain by 800,000 to 900,000 tons.
There are reports that Pyongyang will have another food crisis if it doesn’t receive fertilizer aid soon.
Until when will it go against the international trend while using the pain of its own people as security? It should stop its stubbornness and return to the six-party talks and abandon its nuclear program.
Regarding the Proliferation Security Initiative, Mr. Roh said that he would cooperate on a case-by-case basis to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Bush responded by saying that he “appreciated the cooperation” he has received from South Korea. Although the results were in part to prevent the North from seeing a crack in relations, the fact that conflicts between the two nations did not worsen is a fruitful result.
This time around, the U.S. showed that it is focused more on dialogue than sanctions.
But if the six-party talks fail to produce any result, it is obvious what will follow. That is why Seoul must equally consider both cases.
Most of all, Seoul must bear in mind that efforts to unconditionally bring North Korea to the negotiation table through changing its words will not be accepted.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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