Dangerous wordsWhere is President Roh Moo-hyun leading Korea? Roh has now explicitly revealed his dangerous perception about North Korea’s nuclear weapons and his desire for a peace agreement. He said raising the nuclear issue is just a political move by the opposition.
He also said that the suggestion that he should talk about North Korea’s nuclear issue while meeting with Kim Jong-il during the upcoming summit is like asking him to fight with Kim. He added that a peace agreement is not an optional topic. It is his major agenda item. It is unbelievable that these words came out of the president’s mouth.
Last week, Roh made an important promise after meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush. Roh promised to deliver Bush’s message that a peace treaty terminating the Korean War is possible if North Korea fully implements denuclearization. That was a meaningful agreement between South Korea and the United States. But only days later, Roh changed his stance.
There has been some progress in resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue. For instance, North Korea agreed to disable its nuclear facilities within the year. But there is a long way to go. It is uncertain when North Korea will abolish its existing nuclear arms, the core of verifiable denuclearization. It is irresponsible to mislead the South Korean people into thinking North Korea’s nuclear issue has been resolved.
Everyone knows that North Korea’s nuclear arms threaten South Korea’s national security. A renowned Chinese expert on the Korean Peninsula has warned that North Korea, with its nuclear arms, could intervene in South Korea’s politics with a tactic that is close to war. But the South Korean president behaves as if North Korea’s nuclear weapons pose no threat. The people feel devastated by this.
Roh’s remark revealed the reason why the administration wants to hold a summit meeting with North Korea. It wants to put up an event with the declaration that it will end the war with a peace treaty, while hiding the nuclear issue under the carpet. We cannot have peace as long as North Korea possesses nuclear weapons.
But the administration is obsessed with declaring peace. It probably wants to use it to win over voters. The administration must wake up from this illusion. Ignoring North Korea’s nuclear weapons is a political move. It must remember that no single Korean has the right to damage Korea’s Constitution and imperil its territory.