Tougher action on repeated crying out for attentionRegarding North Korea’s jailing of American citizen Kenneth Bae, the reclusive regime has again chosen to receive attention by first employing its usual tactic of national kidnapping and then yesterday rejecting a carefully choreographed visit to Pyongyang by Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues.
Mr. Bae faces charges of planning to overthrow the North Korean government, a much-abused criminal offense applied to virtually every foreign national incarcerated in North Korea. Although it remains true that aggravating the current tension is never necessary, the United States should now contemplate employing more diverse diplomatic resources, including downsizing humanitarian aid to the North for its infringement on human rights.
Responding by sending a special envoy every time the North cries out for attention after taking foreign nationals hostages cannot be the best solution.
The U.S. government must let the North understand clearly that it reserves tougher action for further similar events.
* Choi Si-young Editing adviser of Yonsei European Studies at Yonsei University