Where is our government?China is meddling in our domestic affairs like never before. In a meeting Friday of foreign ministers of the Asean Regional Forum, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “Pushing for a South Korea-U.S. joint military exercise is not constructive.” In a nutshell, the annual joint drill starting this week is entirely aimed at defending against a North Korean invasion of South Korea. Wang’s remarks translate into a brazen intervention by a third party in the military drill agreed to between South Korea and the United States.
Wang went a step further. “If the U.S. really wants to resume its dialogue with North Korea, it must not take any actions that could heighten tension in the region,” he said. Wang’s comment sounds like a warning that the South-U.S. joint drill deepens the Korean Peninsula crisis and makes North Korea’s denuclearization more difficult. Pyongyang immediately relayed Wang’s remarks to Seoul to boast of its close relations with Beijing.
China cannot step into South Korea’s security matters, nor has the right to do so. China intervened in the 1950-53 Korean War and killed a countless number of our soldiers and civilians. Yet it has never apologized. Instead, China celebrated its participation in the war as a victory on the centennial of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on July 1.
On Saturday, Beijing also praised the Sino-North Korean Friendship Treaty as a “strategic decision.” The treaty mandates that Chinese forces will automatically move into North Korea at times of crisis. That’s not all. Last December, China staged a show of force by flying 20 military aircraft, including a bomber, over the East Sea with Russian airplanes. Moreover, China not only endangers our maritime transport routes by trying to control the South China Sea, but also is directly and indirectly involved in the developing of nuclear weapons and missiles in North Korea.
China’s interference in our domestic affairs is nothing new. Xing Haiming, Chinese ambassador to Seoul, was criticized for making remarks opposing the deployment of the Thaad antimissile system in South Korea. The Thaad shield is aimed at defending against missile attacks from North Korea. And yet, China demanded withdrawal of the system while retaliating against South Korean companies doing business in China.
Nevertheless, the Moon Jae-in administration keeps mum. Instead, in an interview with KBS last week, Hong Hyun-ik, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute — who has just been nominated to head the Korea National Diplomatic Academy — stressed that there’s no need for a South-U.S. joint drill because the North Korean economy has shrunken to one 53rd of the South’s and North Korea’s annual military expenditure is less than one tenth of South Korea’s.
Last week, 74 lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party and other splinter parties demanded the cancellation of the joint drill. Without training, the military cannot function. Are the legislators really aware of the fact that North Korea could possess 100 to 200 nuclear weapons? What is the position of the commander in chief on the dangerous moves?