[Letter to the editor]Take a hard look at how we must deal with North KoreaSouth Korea is constantly confronted with numerous threats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), including the recent missile tests.
It is clear that each and every nation has the right to defend itself. In this perspective, the DPRK’s tests can be justified, as they say. However, we have to ask ourselves a question, not just about this matter but about all issues and approaches toward North Korea: Does North Korea qualify to be treated as a legal country?.
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, the answer is no. Therefore, the DPRK’s military activities are threats, not only for the rightful and legal states in Northeast Asia, but for the whole world. The Koreas are still technically at war, and it is a war between justice and injustice.
Why do I say the North cannot be considered as a state? A normal state should have a government, like the one that President Abraham Lincoln of the United States described ― of the people, by the people and for the people. Who can possibly deny that the government of the DPRK is of Kim, by Kim and for Kim? Many people are starving and deprived of the most fundamental human rights.
Even at this moment when we are talking about diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula and thinking of cooperation and peace and prosperity for the two Koreas, countless people are dying because of Kim Jong-il. What kind of prosperity are we talking about? The prosperity that can help Kim to enhance his so-called “Great Socialist State of Juche?”
If North Korea is working hard against the world, there is no reason for us to coddle Kim like a baby. The current foreign policy of engaging with the North should be changed. It is a matter of responsibility ― the responsibility of people who enjoy freedom to give freedom to those who have none. It is a matter of sacred human rights.
Some say the North is of the same ethnic family and is our friend. True, we share the same history and eat kimchi. But that is the reason why we have to fight. Our family and friends in the North are dying because of Kim Jong-il. As I saw on my personal visit to the North as a volunteer, the North is merely Kim’s kingdom.
If the North does not want to lift a hand for what is right, we must take a strong policy.
Kang Yoon-seung, freshman at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies