Monday, October 09, 2006

S. Korea makes a discovery

Curiously, South Korea hadn't seriously considered the implications of its funding of North Korea's government while that government was pursuing nuclear weapons. South Korea has provided over $2 billion(US) in financial aid to the financially-strapped North as part of the South's "sunshine policy." The Korea Herald wants the policy changed:
Over nearly a decade of implementing an engagement policy toward the North, Seoul has been the biggest donor. Once the recipient shook the peninsula with a nuclear blast and broke a military equilibrium in the region, there is no sense of continuing humanitarian and economic aid to it. ....

An estimated 2 trillion won (about $2 billion) worth of aid has been delivered to the North under the engagement policy which had two major justifications - to prevent a new war on the peninsula and prevent the collapse of the North, an event that would cause an unbearable economic and social impact on the South. A nuclear-armed North Korea dismisses these reasons. It says it needs nuclear arms for self-defense, but their concept of self-defense is nothing less than holding Seoul hostage in the event of an external invasion.
The Joon Gang Daily recommends similar measures and reviews the self-deception of the Korean government:
President Roh Moo-hyun and his men in charge of diplomacy and national security have made unbelievable remarks. President Roh has said, "North Korea's nuclear development is reasonable, looking at it as a means of self-defense." When North Korea test-fired its missiles, he said they were not aimed at South Korea.
It will interesting to see if Seoul can summon the strength to cut the aid to the North now that the North can make credible nuclear threats. It is not easy being the hostage.

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