Lacking a sense of crisis (국문)

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Lacking a sense of crisis (국문)

We are dumbfounded by the remarks made by ruling Democratic Party Chairperson Choo Mi-ae when she met with Chinese Ambassador to Seoul Qiu Guohong on Thursday. She told him she understands China’s concerns about the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system in South Korea, adding that the effectiveness of the missile shield is overblown. Despite some diplomatic rhetoric she used in the meeting with a representative of China, her remarks reflect sheer irresponsibility and a critical lack of security sense as the head of the ruling party.

Her statement is shocking as it was made only two days after North Korea succeeded in test-firing an ICBM, which was confirmed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shortly after the launch. Even pro-dialogue President Moon Jae-in suggested to Washington a joint missile drill with the U.S. Forces in South Korea, which was successfully carried out Wednesday on the east coast. Before embarking on a trip to Germany to attend the Group of 20 Summit in Hamburg, President Moon said that his heart was heavy at this time of crisis. Nevertheless, the ruling party head does not have any sense of crisis.

Choo should have demanded of the Chinese ambassador that Beijing take stronger actions, including stopping oil supplies to the North, to force Pyongyang to give up on its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and missiles. As it turns out, China has not exercised its influence over North Korea but has repeatedly reneged on an earlier promise to curb the Kim Jong-un regime’s reckless push for nuclear power. Instead, Beijing has been bent on calling for the South Korean government’s cancellation of the deployment of Thaad battery, a weapons system intended only for defense. We wonder if Chairwoman Choo really protested it in the meeting with the Chinese ambassador.

Former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun, under the liberal Roh Moo-hyun administration, and Moon’s special advisor for unification and diplomacy, Moon Chung-in, also share the same lack of sense. Jeong asserts that our government must accept Beijing’s proposal for a suspension of South Korea-U.S. military exercises in return for North Korea stopping its nuclear and missile provocations.

Advisor Moon even argued that it is time for us to regard Pyongyang’s possession of nuclear weapons as a fait accompli, saying that we now have to worry about the North’s smuggling of nuclear weapons to other countries. Such absurd remarks constitute a ludicrous denial of the principle of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It is very sad that the head of the ruling party and Moon’s security brains are making really out-of-touch remarks in the face of a real nuclear danger from the North. We ask them what benefits we can expect from their incomprehensible remarks.

JoongAng Ilbo, July 7, Page 30

더불어민주당 추미애 대표가 어제 추궈훙(邱國洪) 주한 중국대사를 만나 했다는 말은 귀를 의심하게 만든다. “사드 체계의 실용성이 과장돼 있다”며 “사드 배치에 대한 중국의 우려를 충분히 이해한다”는 말은 외교적 수사가 보태졌다 해도 집권당 대표의 발언으로서는 너무나 무책임하고 안일한 안보인식을 투영하고 있기 때문이다.
북한이 대륙간탄도미사일(ICBM) 발사에 성공한 지 이틀 만에 나온 말이어서 더욱 그렇다. 대화를 강조하던 문재인 대통령조차 한·미 연합 미사일 훈련을 미국에 먼저 제안하고, G20 정상회담 출국길에 배웅 나온 민주당 지도부에 “누란(累卵)의 위기여서 발걸음이 무겁다”고 할 정도로 위중한 현실을 집권당 대표만 인식하지 못하고 있는 것이다.
추 대표는 “화기애애했던 회동 분위기”를 자랑할 게 아니라 북한이 핵과 미사일을 포기하도록 대북 석유공급 중단 등 보다 적극적인 중국의 행동을 추 대사에게 요구했어야 마땅하다. 중국은 국제사회에 대한 약속과 달리 북한에 실질적인 영향력을 행사하지 않고 있다. 그러면서도 방어용 무기인 사드의 배치 철회 요구만 거듭하고 보복을 멈추지 않는 상황에 대해서는 한마디 지적이 있었는지 궁금하다.
정세현 전 통일부 장관과 문정인 통일외교안보 특보 등 이 정부의 안보 브레인들 역시 현실적 위험과 동떨어진 인식을 보이고 있어 걱정을 더한다. 북한의 핵·미사일 시험과 한·미 군사훈련을 동시 중단하자는 중국 제안을 받아들이자는 정 전 장관과, 북한의 핵보유를 기정사실화하고 해외 밀반출이나 걱정해야 한다는 문 특보 발언은 합법적 훈련과 불법적 핵실험을 혼동하고 한반도 비핵화 목표를 원천 부정하는 어불성설이다. 이처럼 북한의 주장을 되풀이하는 듯한 집권당 대표와 안보 브레인들의 발언이 가뜩이나 심란한 국민들을 더욱 불안하게 하는 것 말고 한반도 안보에 어떤 이득이 있는지 묻지 않을 수 없다.
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