Monday, February 26, 2007

Korea Without the U.S.

Former president Kim Dae jung wrote an editorial in the Chosun Ilbo entitled "We Must Learn to do Without the U.S." I found this article extremely interesting because although he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine Policy, Mr. Kim had a more hawkish stance on North Korea and said South Korea (led by the president) "remains a sucker that gives away money and goods to North Korea while our security hangs in the balance."

There seems to a feeling of abandonment and betrayal by the U.S. in his writing and he points out that "The central axis of the Korean problem is moving away from one tripartite structure, of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, to another: the U.S., China and North Korea." He then goes on to say that "As far as its own security is concerned, South Korea must search for a new path rather than trusting or relying on the U.S."

Koreans aren't the only ones criticizing the 6PT agreements--the Japanese too are not happy with the recent events. According to Professor Mochizuki, while the Japanese in Washington pay lip service to the "break-through" in negotiations, politicians in Japan feel betrayed by the U.S. for not helping them more with the abductee issue. As Mr. Kim states, the "victims" in these negotiations are Korea and Japan.

On a side note, it was surprising to hear Rice announce that she would be willing to speak with her Iranian counterpart if Iran was willing to suspend its nuclear program, which signals a big change in Bush's policy. As that was the carrot dangled before North Korea to get it to the 6PT and one of the components of the agreed framework, it will be interesting to see if Iran takes up the offer (although I highly doubt it).


snowume said...

I was very shocked at the fact that President Kim wrote this editorial. As you said, the content and tone of the article was against his own policy while he was in office. Yet, the writer of this article is not President Kim but a journalist whose name is same as president Kim.

you can see it in korean version.

Grace said...

Ahh, I see. Thanks for the correction. I was really surprised by the article as well because the content was opposite to what the president said when he was in office. Thanks for the clarification!