Expediency not the best strategyThe prime minister of India said on Oct. 11, 2006: “Homi J. Bhabha, who played a crucial role in the development of India’s nuclear program and established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, was at Gonville and Caius [of Cambridge University].” (Like the prime minister of the United Kingdom, he attended Cambridge University.)
The Bush administration partially lifted sanctions against India and Pakistan on Sept. 22, 2001 ― initially these sanctions were imposed to slow the proliferation of nuclear weapons ― two days after President George W. Bush made “an offer they couldn’t refuse” to the Taliban. At that time, Pervez Musharraf, president general of Pakistan, announced his support for Operation Enduring Freedom.
China’s relations with the United States notably cooled after Russia was notified by the Bush administration of its unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, in December 2001. When China shot down its own satellite recently, the “other shoe dropped.”
The North Koreans can claim the return of the Yongsan military base, and the cleanup of the tributary to the Han River in downtown Seoul, was owed as much to their threats of Armageddon as to the campaign rhetoric of presidential candidate Roh Moo-hyun.
The Korean Army doesn’t want the draft abolished; so it, too, puts short-term politics ahead of security strategy.
Any formal response to issues on the peninsula, including the withdrawal of American ground troops from the Demilitarized Zone, could be linked with the strategic framework talks that include National Missile Defense.
Richard Thompson, San Diego
Rearing children for economic literacy
According to a recent survey conducted by the Federation of Korean Industries, 30 percent of elementary and secondary school students polled said that classes on economics that do not match the real economy are the most serious problem in school education.
The government, media and civic groups have proposed various types of new economics education. In bookstores, a lot of economics books for children are displayed on the shelves. But most of them talk about how to make money with investment techniques. They give excessive support for the neo-liberal market system.
We don’t have to make all our children grow up as economists or rich people. What we really need to teach our children is that labor is very precious and saving is virtuous. Economic education will achieve its goal when we can rear people to make sound economic decisions and have the ability to check their own credit status.
Sung Kyong-hee, a teacher at the National Korean Music School