[Letters] Opportunities from the crisis

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[Letters] Opportunities from the crisis

For every crisis, there is always an opportunity. After the G-20 Summit in Seoul, North Korea attacked Yeonpyeong Island with artillery. Four were killed and many were injured. There were many who watched the news in bewilderment, and in fear and panic for some. Because of the usual “herd mentality” phenomenon, the stock and financial markets dipped, stabilized and are now on the recovery.

My foreign business professor observed the very calm and rational behavior of people in Korea, since in other countries with such types of conflicts, it is normal for people to engage in panic buying, resulting in shortages and inflation in the prices of basic commodities.

Because of the appropriately cautious and restrained response to the North’s Yeonpyeong attack, there is now greater respect for Korea’s capacity as a global leader. Once again, the country has shown that in times of national difficulty, it can overcome and transform the crisis into an opportunity.

The world’s attention focused on the G-20 Summit in Seoul on Nov. 11 and 12. Famous leaders of the most important countries, representative leaders from developing countries in all continents, and heads of international organizations converged in Seoul. The declarations addressed difficult issues to ensure global economic recovery and create financial safety nets.

Immediately after the summit, North Korea attacked Yeonpyeong Island. However, I believe that after the G-20, South Korea has accumulated enough global capital of goodwill and wealth of ideas to address North Korea, and it should be able to offer a creative solution towards reunification.

One goal of the G-20 Summit discussions was how to make the world a better and safer place. Given the country’s difficulties with North Korea, there is an opportunity to test the commitments made during the summit. Before reaching out to the wider world, it is important for South Korea to balance and prepare its economy to provide for a possible future peaceful settlement with its belligerent neighbor.

The G-20 leaders also agreed to endorse the Seoul Development Consensus, a set of guidelines and principles for working together with less developed nations to improve economic growth and reduce poverty. It is important to apply these commitments and be ready with a package to provide a powerful incentive for a belligerent neighbor to talk peace and mutually arrive at a creative, innovative solution to the North and South Korea problem.

With a buildup of global goodwill for South Korea after the G-20 Summit, the country is in a stronger position to apply its commitments with a stronger political will.


Choi Eun-hye,

business administration student, Hanyang University Erica Campus, Ansan
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