[Letters] Consider consequences of joining PSI

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[Letters] Consider consequences of joining PSI

As I flip through newspapers, I see many articles concerning North Korea. One of the main issues is the North’s planned launch of [what it asserts is a] satellite [but other countries suspect to be a test for] missiles. Then there was the arrest of two American journalists, stranded workers in the Kaesong Industrial Complex and North Korea rejecting food shipments and aid.

In addition to these, another issue that I’m concerned about is South Korea considering becoming a full member of the United States-led Proliferation Security Initiative to enforce the international treaty against the proliferation of illegal weapons.

Some think that the North is damaging hopes for a better future in inter-Korean relations, therefore it is time for South Korea to review the possibility of joining the PSI. Sure, it would be beneficial for the South to join the PSI in some aspects. However, there also are potential drawbacks that cannot be neglected.

First of all, joining the PSI could provoke North Korea. Becoming a full member of the PSI indicates that the South is declaring it is turning its back on the North and working with [what it considers] U.S. provocation. It is only going to cause harm in many areas in relations between the two Koreas.

Therefore, solving problems regarding the Kaesong Industrial Complex, separated families and reaching out despite our different ideologies in peaceful diplomatic ways will not be possible.

Moreover, the South’s alliance with the U.S. could lead to a North Korean alliance with China that could only worsen foreign relations in the region, pitting the U.S. against China. Since provoking the North will bring more damage than benefit in the South’s foreign diplomacy, it is better not to turn our back on the North.

Secondly, abandoning inter-Korean relations is immoral. After all, both countries used to be a single nation. Knowing that so many people in the North are suffering, the South should not abandon its own people.

By joining the PSI all of the efforts made by the South for years toward becoming a partner with the North could just vanish into thin air. As the North keeps on isolating itself from the international community, South Korea should try to end its isolation.

Having a completely isolated country that keeps on making provocations is not only harmful for the North and the South, but to the international community as well.

Therefore, based on political and moral considerations, I think the South should reconsider joining the PSI. It is true that persuading the North is difficult for the South, but it is a problem that we have to overcome.

The South must think more rationally, because otherwise, achieving better inter-Korean relations would seem hopeless.

Lee Ji-hyun, student,Seoul Foreign Language High School
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