Why all the limit line talk?Two officials of the Unification Ministry have argued that there needs to be an agreement regarding redrawing of the Northern Limit Line. Hong Ik-pyo, policy adviser to the unification minister, said he did not agree that even a slight change in the Northern Limit Line would cause a serious threat to national security. Saying that giving away territory is not a problem is an absurd remark. It cannot be ignored.
Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung recently said the Northern Limit Line is not part of the concept that comes under the term “territory,” and that it is important for the two Koreas to devise “more effective measures” to reduce the risks of accidental armed clashes. Those remarks were inappropriate and vague due to his abstract language. Nevertheless, the remarks by the two officials have revealed the true intentions of the ministry. They mean the ministry is ready to take a step back on the Northern Limit Line issue.
This is a worrisome situation.
The unification ministry spokesman said that the remarks by the officials are not the official position of the ministry.
The policy adviser to the unification minister is one of the closest aides to the minister, and the other official is also in a key position .
To say that comments written by these two people on the home page of the Government Information Agency are not in line with the official view of the Unification Ministry is nonsense.
Some people that are in the same ideological camp as the current administration have started to support the unification ministry’s argument. Even the head of the Red Cross, who should be focusing his efforts on work related to humanitarian issues, has given his support.
These remarks may be signs of strategic moves by the administration to make the Northern Limit Line an agenda item for the upcoming summit meeting in October.
We have stressed several times that discussion of the Northern Limit Line has to start only after trust between the militaries of the two Koreas has been established to some extent.
The current situation is not like that. Even the test run of trains between the two Koreas had to undergo difficulties due to obstacles related to military issues. So why is it that they only want to discuss the Northern Limit Line?
It appears there may be hidden agenda swirling about this complex issue that cannot be revealed to the public.