[Letters] A tempered response to the Cheonan sinking
The government has stated that if North Korea was behind the sinking of the Cheonan, it would take strong action, including force, as the North did, or stopping economic assistance.
However, I think that strong action should be avoided. Such actions will heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula and cause harmful effects to our economy. Economic collaboration between the North and South helps tens of thousands of Korean workers and their families. If directly punishing North Korea is difficult, it is best to get support from the international community in making restrictions against the North.
In order to gain international support, we should come up with more scientific and objective evidence to convince the United Nations and China to take stronger action against North Korea.
During Kim Jong-il’s last visit in China, the Chinese premier stated that China would not aid North Korea in any way that would exceed the Security Council’s sanctions. No matter how much the North asks China for financial help, China will not be able to ignore the international community.
Military and economic punishments that do not take the future into account and are motivated only by anger will make the situation more complicated. I believe that our response should be based on President Lee’s saying, “strict rules, flexible approach”. Cho Won-shik, Yangchung High School student