[Letters] Early deterrence is the only viable optionThe territory of the South Korea was under attack. We have confirmed the failure of our North Korea policy with the photographs of black smoke rising from Yeonpyeong Island. You never know when North Korean long-range missiles will fall on your head.
At this moment, being host and chair of the G-20 Summit is not helping South Korea. Being the 12th largest economy in the world is meaningless. Being the leader of the IT industry is rather ironic in front of long-range missiles. I am not sure why we need barbed wires across the beautiful beaches of the East Sea.
When Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, the League of Nations imposed economic sanctions on the aggressor. But the measure was on limited items and was not so threatening to Mussolini’s ambition. Meanwhile, Britain and France chose an appeasement policy, granting Mussolini one third of Ethiopia’s territory.
In the end, Mussolini’s Italy succeeded in occupying Ethiopia. A lukewarm punishment and appeasement policy failed to hinder the hegemonies of Hitler’s Germany and imperial Japan, and we had to go through World War II, which had 50 million victims.
If you look at the Yeonpyeong Island attack and Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, you will see that appeasement to strike a deal with the aggressor is only an illusion. China is the second-most powerful nation in the world in politics, the economy and militarily, and a high-ranking Chinese cabinet member came to Seoul, without visiting Pyongyang first. He requested President Lee Myung-bak “prevent escalation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
China essentially asked the victim to take care of the situation. In reality, sanctions against North Korea imposed by the United Nations Security Council are not working because the back door to China is still open. How can Seoul be pressured to remain quiet when the country was attacked? It is an outcome of an overall foreign policy failure.
North Korea is taking advantage of the divided internal sentiment in the South as much as possible. National security is abused by a political-minded military and politicians. Billionaires are engaged in family feuds. Citizens are distrustful of the polarized and unjust society. So Pyongyang has calculated that the South Korean government would not strike back out of fear for escalation of the war.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal featured a special article titled, “The Miracle Is Over. Now What?” We were given a warning that we have to be born again. We have to get over vanity and build strength. Justice without sincerity is meaningless and boastful. North Korea is a terrorist group that will only surrender to physical force - like an aircraft carrier. So the government must remember that a strategy of early deterrence is the only viable option.
Shin Du-byeong, former Korean ambassador to Italy