• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    Various debates

    For obvious reasons, everyone is talking about how the PRC has reacted to the DPRK’s nuclear test, but it’s worth paying attention to the ROK, too:

    South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun confirmed Friday morning that South Korea will faithfully implement the U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea, which was passed following Pyongyang’s nuclear test last week.

    Roh made the remark during a meeting with Foreign Minister Taro Aso at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

    However, Roh implied that South Korea would proceed cautiously with the sanction measures. “Each country has final authority over how to interpret the resolution,” he said.

    Roh, with an apparent reference to Japan’s possible nuclear armament, said to Aso, “There are various debates [in Japan] on how best to respond to North Korea’s nuclear test.”

    Aso countered by saying, “Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe has promised that Japan will uphold the three nonnuclear principles [in which Japan pledges not to produce, possess or allow nuclear weapons into the country].”

    Japan has been considering a full-scale cessation of not only imports from North Korea (which have already been implemented) but also exports to it. South Korea’s participation in executing UNSC-based sanctions matter, of course, because part of the package is maritime inspections:

    In South Korea, criticism of the “sunshine policy” of the administration of President Roh Moo-hyun increased after the nuclear test.

    Tokyo and Washington intend to make more efforts to coax the South Korean government over to their side, a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.

    Though the U.N. resolution includes inspection of cargo carried to and from North Korea, the measure cannot be effective unless checks around the Korean Peninsula are intensified.

    The key is whether South Korea will participate in and cooperate with the inspection on ships entering and leaving North Korea.

    Also, while Japan and South Korea regard North Korean nuclear weapons as a direct threat, what the United States fears most is proliferation of the weapons to other parties, such as terrorists.

    Joel also posted on more fundamental (and well-recognized) differences in perceptions between the US and the ROK.

    Leave a Reply