[Letter to the editor] A secret deal with Taliban won’t workI’m writing to point out the impossibility of completing a quiet deal with the Taliban in exchange for the Korean hostages, as advocated by Kim Chong Hyuk (Aug. 9), as well as in the Aug. 3 and Aug. 1 editorials.
Even if the deal could be kept out of the press, the Taliban would know it took place, since they wouldn’t release the hostages unless they were sure the prisoners had been released. Afterwards, the Taliban and the released prisoners would spread the word that their demands had been met, which would encourage more of these kidnappings in the future. Perhaps the Afghan, Korean and American governments could agree to such a deal and narrowly save face in the mainstream press and the developed world, but these governments and the rest of the international community would be viewed as much weaker by terrorists all over the world, at a time when our strength is more important than ever. Sadly for the families involved in the crisis, the only responsible offer to make to the Taliban is the gratitude of the international community. Any material offers will only make tragedies such as this one more likely to occur in the future.
Mike Mackenna, Yongin, Gyeonggi