[Letter to the editor]Pragmatism, not Americanism

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[Letter to the editor]Pragmatism, not Americanism

One of President Lee Myung-bak’s policies is “pragmatic diplomacy.” Pragmatic diplomacy means negotiating with any country that can meet both nations’ interests. During the past five years, the Korea-U.S. alliance did not turn out well due to former President Roh Moo-hyun’s “independent diplomacy.” Some people even said that he deadlocked relations between the United States and Japan. However, did former President Roh’s independent diplomacy really cause chaos? His goal was to make our nation stand independently while engaging with other countries at the same time.
Different people have different values. Some want Korea to fully negotiate with the United States and others think that it’s time for us to rise up on our own. President Roh’s view was in line with the latter, but it seems our newly inaugurated president wants to agree with the former.
Lee announced he would pursue pragmatic diplomacy to reform the diplomatic policies formed by Roh. However, it seems to me that he is trying to strengthen the Korea-United States alliance under the guise of “pragmatic diplomacy.”
Korea should no longer solely depend on its U.S. relations. I agree with the words that Lee said ― “no such things as pro-American or pro-Chinese policies” exist. He should abide by his words, not Americanism. Diplomacy cannot be achieved with only words but with action. Rather than assuring people with pretty words, he should show us actual results and pursue real pragmatic diplomacy.
Ha Jhong-ryu, student, Gimhae Foreign Language High School
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