Behaving as a developed nation

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

Behaving as a developed nation

 The Russian military launched a multi-faceted attack on Ukraine in the early morning of Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered it. The invasion will likely expand to a full-fledged war. The assault by Russia constitutes a brazen violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter, and is an act that shakes the peace and international order established since the Cold War.

If the crisis cannot be addressed soon, it could result in the establishment of a new Cold War regime with Russia and China on the one side and the United States and Western countries on the other. The international community should resolve the conflict before it is too late. As a key member of the international community, Korea also must do its fair share.

President Moon Jae-in said the use of force which causes human casualties cannot be justified no matter what and expressed the will to participate in economic sanctions on Russia. We welcome a shift of his position. As it turns out, Korea was missing from a list of countries that Washington said will participate in the U.S.-led sanctions.

The Moon administration’s prudent posture owed much to its hopes for Russia’s cooperation with the government’s project to link inter-Korean railways, for instance. But such a narrow-minded approach hardly meets the expectations of international society. Now that the government made clear an intention to join the sanctions on Russia, it must devise detailed action plans without considering reactions from Moscow.

As suggested by U.S. President Joe Biden’s statement that Uncle Sam will impose “severe and swift” sanctions on Russia, Washington is expected to demand Seoul join it in restricting its exports of key industrial items to Russia, including semiconductors and automobiles. As Korea’s products mostly involve high technology, it could help raise the effectiveness of embargoes.

Given the background, our government should take proactive approach to sanctions. That will also help Korea ease international concerns that it only watches China and Russia for fear of their noncooperation on inter-Korean issues. At the same time, the government must take measures to minimize expected damage to local companies joining the sanctions. The administration can also consider the idea of providing medical assistance to Ukraine in case of a large number of casualties.

Korea’s international status as a developed economy means the country is required to take the responsibility befitting it. The government has been patting itself on the back for becoming a de facto member of the G10.

The time has come to prove it through action.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)