Lee still insists North must make apology

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Lee still insists North must make apology

Until North Korea apologizes for its deadly attacks on the South, there will be no breakthrough in the frozen inter-Korean relations, President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday during a televised press conference.

“The North must express its apology for what it has done,” Lee said, noting that 46 sailors died in the Cheonan sinking, which an international panel blamed on the North, and that civilians and Marines were killed during the Yeonpyeong Island shelling. “Only then can we go to the next step. The North has committed wrongs against us, threatened us, attacked us and killed us, but now it wants to talk to us. That is why I think the offer lacks sincerity.”

In unusually candid words, Lee said he won’t rush to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il just because his time in office will end next year.

“We want to end the wrong pattern of inter-Korean affairs from the past and reset it from the right place,” Lee said. “Then we can talk. ... [The North] proposed to meet and then threatened to hit again if we declined. What is this about? Do we have to meet because we are fearful of an attack? I don’t think so.”

Lee also said the reform of the military must continue to “spiritually arm” the soldiers as well as improve the “jointness” of the military in the aftermath of the North’s attacks. Asking both retired and incumbent generals to abandon any selfishness, Lee said, “If the military fails to reform this time, there won’t be any more opportunity.”

During the press conference, Lee urged Japan to act and speak coherently, showing his frustration toward its latest claim over the Dokdo islets in new textbooks. Lee said his government will continue quietly to reinforce its actual control over the island, rather than make a big fuss about it.

“I admire the Korean people’s mature response in showing support for Japan after the quake, despite the Dokdo issue,” he added.

Asked if he has plans to reshuffle the cabinet and the Blue House to regain public support, Lee said he has no intention to punish public servants for actions he has taken.

After the government scrapped plans to build a new airport, speculation ran high that a reshuffling would take place. The opinion has increased as well that Lee must give up his Grand National Party affiliation.

“I am responsible for the airport issue, not the cabinet and the Blue House,” Lee said. “I made the final decision based on the government’s assessments, so there won’t be any reshuffle.”

Lee said consistency is the key to a government’s success. “It’s undesirable to frequently appoint new ministers for political reasons,” he said. Lee also said he won’t leave his party. “I guess people make such demands because they are angry, so I don’t think I have to answer to that,” Lee said. “We must calm down and stop attacking each other.”


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [경향신문]

이 대통령 “천지개벽을 해도 독도는 우리 땅”

‘실효적 지배 강화’ 해법 제시

독도에 방사선감시기 설치

이명박 대통령은 일본의 독도 영유권 주장에 대해 단호하면서도 성숙하게 대응하겠다고 밝혔다. 실효적 지배 강화가 그 해법으로 제시됐다.

이 대통령은 1일 특별 기자회견에서 일본 외무성이 외교청서에서 독도 영유권을 주장한 데 대해 “대통령으로서 말을 아끼고 있지만 심정은 국민들이 생각하는 것과 똑같다”며 불쾌감을 표시했다.

이 대통령은 “천지개벽을 두 번 해도 이건 우리 땅”이라며 독도가 역사적, 지리적, 국제법적으로 한국의 영토임을 분명히 했다. 그러면서 “실효적 지배를 하고 있는 사람과 멀리서 이거 내 것이라고 주장하는 사람과는 목소리가 다르다”며 일본과는 다른 대응이 필요함을 강조한 뒤, “실효적 지배를 강화하는 일을 계속해 나갈 것”이라고 말했다.

이 대통령은 가수 김장훈씨가 최근 일본 교과서 문제에도 불구하고 지진 피해자를 돕는 일은 계속해야 한다고 한 말을 언급하며 즉흥적인 반일 감정의 자제를 당부했다.

이 대통령은 “국민들의 성숙된 대일본 자세, 이것이 우리가 갈 길”이라며 “(그것이) 일본을 이기는 일이고, 일본을 모든 면에서 앞서갈 수 있다는 자신감”이라고 강조했다.

이주호 교육과학기술부 장관도 일본이 외교청서를 발표한 이날 무인 환경방사선 자동감시기를 설치하기 위해 독도를 방문했다. 이 장관은 “내년에 준공되는 동해독도해양과학기지에서 지진, 쓰나미 연구를 본격적으로 하게 될 것”이라고 밝혔다.

독도에 방사선 감시기를 설치한 것은 독도에 대한 실효적 지배를 강화하고 일본 후쿠시마 원전 사고로 누출된 방사성물질도 감지하기 위한 다목적 대응으로 보인다. 실제 독도는 일본과 가장 가까운 거리에 있어 일본으로부터 방사성물질이 바람을 타고 넘어올 경우 발빠른 감지가 가능하다.

이번에 독도에 설치된 감시기는 현재 전국에서 24시간 운영돼 그 결과를 인터넷 포털에 공개하고 있는 70개 환경방사선 감시기와 같은 기종으로 2일부터 본격 가동에 들어간다.

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