[Letters] Delusion-driven animosityDuring the past few decades, North Korea has become a basket-case of welfare-dependency. Despite having a larger landmass and more mineral-rich soil than the Southern part of the peninsula, it has failed to grow even enough food to feed its population. As for its mineral resources, whatever the country manages to mine is often swapped with its enabling allies for military supplies.
Both the late Kim Il Sung and his ailing son Kim Jong-il have craftily contrived a guilt-ridden hustle to extract enough good-will gestures from its Southern brethren, without any reciprocating response. The governments of Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung, and Roh Moo-hyun have given North Korea hundreds of tons of rice and other food aid; truckloads of cows, medicine and nearly a billion dollars. But instead of showing gratitude towards its generous neighbor, the Northern ingrate has used every opportunity to insult, snub and even attack the South.
It is bad enough that Kim Il Sung mistreated and neglected his own people during his reign. It is even more horrendous that his dynastic heir has been following in his father’s footsteps, by orchestrating such horrific crimes against the South. However, allowing the grandson to perpetuate such a disreputable legacy with impunity is the equivalent of giving license to the Northern Kim’s tyranny. Also, it would be a big mistake if the world community allows this inherited delusional megalomaniac to continue threatening its neighbors, and bring this region into a new world conflict.
South Korea needs to start taking a more forceful stance against the North’s provocations. After all, for decades, this country has been on the receiving end of Northern hostilities. So far, the Southern republic has suffered hundreds of causalities, and born the brunt of Northern incursions, with only conciliatory responses.
That posture has only helped to bolster the North, making the regime more brazen in its aggression towards the South. Evidently, the Northern Kims are hell-bent on projecting their delusion-driven animosity on the South. But the South’s passive posture is undoubtedly enabling their delusive bravado, and invariably inviting future military misadventures.
It is delusional to think of North Korea leaders as trustworthy partners in any denuclearization talks or efforts to achieve a permanent peace treaty on the peninsula. It is also insane to for the world community to continue propping up a tyrannical regime that is threatening to “launch a sacred nuclear war” against the South.
Indeed, it is heartening to hear President Lee Myung-bak’s recent admission. “We have now been awakened to the realization that war can be prevented and peace assured only when such provocations are met with a strong response.” (Time Magazine-Dec. 27) South Korea needs a forceful and strong-willed commander to counter the North’s delusional-driven animosity and atrocity. Such a stance is the most effective war-prevention strategy.
Carlton U. Forbes, an English teacher living in Cheong Ju