Actions speak louder than wordsThe Park Geun-hye administration’s first national security meeting at the ministerial level was held at the Blue House yesterday. The meeting was aimed at preparing countermeasures against North Korea’s belligerent moves by sharing assessments of the current situation among the ministries of defense, foreign affairs and unification as well as the National Intelligence Service. Some observers thought it must have been an emergency meeting since it was called suddenly. As it turned out, the president hosted the meeting to demonstrate a stern will to retaliate against any aggression from the North. We welcome her decision to call the meeting, albeit a little belatedly.
North Korea has been ratcheting up the threats after its third nuclear test in February, as seen by a declaration to nullify the six-decade old armistice agreement, a unilateral scrapping of the non-aggression treaty, a cutting-off of military hot lines and a proclamation of a war situation - not to mention its latest threat to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex. Despite the gravity of the situation, President Park has calmly yet resolutely responded to Pyongyang’s provocations, which deserves our appreciation.
In the defense ministry’s briefing to the president Monday, Park ordered the military to strongly retaliate against the North in the early stage of any aggression - without worrying about political considerations. She also cheered the military up by saying that she will trust the military’s judgment above all. Her remarks translate into an order to strongly respond to the North’s attacks while maintaining composure at the same time.
Responding to the North’s nuclear threats, the United States is engaged in a show of force which includes a dazzling array of sophisticated weapons like the B-52 strategic bomber, the B-2 stealth bomber and the F-22 raptor stealth fighter. The North has reason to fear all three of these fighting machines. The U.S. even deployed its SBX-1, a state-of-the-art mobile radar system, and the Aegis Destroyer, to waters surrounding the peninsula. To jointly cope with any aggression from the North, Seoul and Washington have drawn up concrete, phase-by-phase scenarios to give a stern warning to Pyongyang and reassure Seoul about the security danger facing it at this time.
At yesterday’s meeting, President Park stressed the importance of not allowing an enemy to engage in provocations by emphasizing that they will be met by relentless retaliation. Actions speak louder than words. The government must fully prepare for any emergencies.