National security worries

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National security worries

A series of signs indicate that North Korea may soon test a long-range missile. The intelligence authorities have evidence that missile launching equipment was positioned, after an object suspected to be a Taepodong-2 was moved to a missile base in Musudan-ri, Hwadae County, in North Hamgyeong Province.

CNN reported that a U.S. intelligence satellite caught North Koreans assembling telemetry equipment used for a missile launch.

North Korea’s propaganda newspaper Rodong Sinmun abruptly talked about North Korea’s right to use and develop space technology. Chinese fishing vessels stopped sailing into Yellow Sea waters, definitely an abnormal move. Worries that North Korea will soon conduct a missile test are increasing.

However, Seoul is exceptionally quiet, marking a stark contrast to Washington, where warnings about North Korea’s provocations come out every day. Seoul is taking a hands-off approach, just as it kept silent when North Korea announced that it would nullify all agreements between Seoul and Pyongyang that aimed to ease political and military confrontation, and that aimed to abolish causes of tension related to the Northern Limit Line, a sea border between the South and the North.

South Korea is determined to abide by principles, remain persistent and resolute and not to change its attitude and stance according to North Korea’s every move.

However, the people are nervous. Are there government measures to cope with a national security crisis if Pyongyang launches a Taepodong-2 missile and Washington shoots it down? How will our government respond if North Korea fires a missile over the NLL into our territory, which Pyongyang claims as its waters?

Will South Korea be lost, not knowing what to do, or will it counterattack? If Seoul counterattacks, would this lead to an all-out war? Some even predict that North Korea will probably seek an attack which would be too small for Washington to intervene but strong enough to cause psychological shock for South Korea.

Our unification minister and the head of the National Intelligence Service have been replaced and the line-up of the new foreign affairs and national security team hasn’t been decided yet, intensifying worries even more.

With the economy in such bad shape, we can’t afford worries over national security. The government must show confidence and resolution on the matter.

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