Same old threat policy

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Same old threat policy

In an editorial of the Rodong Sinmun, the communist party’s newspaper in North Korea, the North threatened to end inter-Korean relations.

The article said if the South Korean government damages the North’s dignity and recklessly pursues what it called anti-North Korea policies, the North will end relations. An example of anti-North Korea policies cited includes preparation for an emergency in North Korea.

It is regrettable that the North is using its typical threat strategy once again. Its intention is clear.

It believes these threats will create conflicts among South Koreans and between South Korea and the United States, and as a result, the Lee Myung-bak administration will do as the North wants.

Then, the North can assume a higher position over the South while still receiving aid from us, just as it did during the administrations of former presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun.

But the North has misjudged the situation. South Korea is a liberal, democratic country where administrations are replaced by elections. The incumbent administration was born with overwhelming support from the people, who became sick and tired of the last two administrations’ endless aid to the North.

Condemning the South Korean government just because its policies don’t suit them won’t produce any benefits for the North Koreans.

Now that the North has been removed from the U.S.’s list of sponsors of state terrorism, it should abandon its arrogant stance and align itself with international standards of behavior.

An increasing number of South Koreans ask themselves, “What’s the point of providing aid to the North when it assails us all the time?”

North Korea might well put this grave threat into action and possible moves could include terminating the tours to Kaesong, ending the operation of the industrial complex in Kaesong or provoking responses on the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea.

The South Korean government must draw up detailed measures in case of the worst-case scenario. Most importantly, it should abide by its principles in the North Korea policy.

It doesn’t need to upset North Korea unnecessarily, as President Lee Myung-bak did when he said there could be a labor-management conflict if dormitories are built in the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
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