The news about the fact that North Korea possessed its own nuclear program (probably, it already has a couple of its A-bombs) caused wild hysteria amid American and European media. Foreign diplomats have launched something like a competition of various ultimatums. Yet, South Korea was rather quiet about Pyongyang’s confession.
It stands the reason that American “hawks” in South Korea attacked South Korean leader Kim Dae-jung’s policy. However, the South Korean president preferred to interpret the confession of his northern neighbor as a token for negotiations.
South Korean largest newspaper, the Korea Herald published an article yesterday, highlighting the nuclear program scandal. In the article, the newspaper indirectly acknowledged the logic of the fact that North Korea was trying to create the weapon, which might cause considerable damage to a potential aggressor: “We understand the North might think a couple of atomic bombs would help guarantee the regime's security. But a much better way is to come clean on weapons of mass destruction and show it is sincere in feeding its people and rebuilding its tattered economy through peaceful and democratic means. Washington for its part could promise support in proportion to Pyongyang's progress on this issue. Seoul needs to play the role of a patient arbitrator, if not the overall coordinator. The inter-Korean cabinet-level talks in Pyongyang today will be a good starting point to turn crisis into an opportunity.”
The same Korean newspaper set out a positive estimation to Washington’s promise not to strike North Korea and not to equal Pyongyang and Baghdad. Yet, the newspaper pointed out a significant difference in the approaches to this issue on the part of the Bush’s administration and on the part of the South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung.
Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld stand for a political solution of North Korean nuclear problem. On the other hand, American senior officials believe that any negotiations must be preceded with the liquidation of those programs by Pyongyang.
The position of the South Korean government is as follows: South Korea is intended to accept Pyongyang's token to start negotiations, which would eventually result in the elimination of its nuclear program. This unravels the difference between Washington’s obstinacy and Seoul’s flexibility. It also shows the calculation of Pyongyang’s politicians. They timed their confession to the moment, when the USA was completely focused on the preparation of its aggression against Iraq. It is inconvenient for America to launch another “anti-terrorist action” in another part of the planet. The intention of the North Korean leadership under an extremely difficult geopolitical situation is as follows. North Korea refuses from its nuclear developments, gaining as many concessions as possible from South Korea, the USA and China. North Korea hopes for its own security guarantee too.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov