South Korea’s Reunification Plan Hardly Realistic

At the moment, what South Korea needs most is to remain calm. In the Hollywood blockbuster Inception, the main character uses a spinning top to judge whether he is in a dream or in reality. Now the spinning top for South Korea poses a series of question: Will its actions help reduce tensions? Will its policy help address issues with the North? Will its decisions facilitate cooperation among powers like China, Russia and the US? If the answers are yes, then South Korea is in reality. Nevertheless, if the answers are negative, South Korea is dreaming.

Dialogue with Pyongyang Is Not a Luxury, But a Necessity

Governor Richardson said he “hoped to make a difference” in bringing a more stable situation into being, and settled down to substantive talks with men he knew well. A trickle of sensible-sounding suggestions soon surfaced; establishment of a three-way military commission involving the US and North and South Korea, to study crisis avoidance; setting up a “hot line” between the North and South; the return of recently discovered remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean war; possible resumption of visits by IAEA inspectors to Yongbyon, and sale of enriched nuclear fuel rods to foreign buyers, including South Korea.

“How South Korea is Raising the Risk of War Menacing North Korea”

That North Korea would feel threatened is not surprising. Its economy is crippled by the imposition of draconian Western sanctions, and the annual South Korean-U.S. military exercises are intended to intimidate. Furthermore, the rhetoric from Washington has been unremittingly hostile, and now with a more conservative government, so is South Korea’s.

Nor is North Korea unaware of the fact that in February 2003, President Bush told Chinese President Jiang Zemin that if the nuclear issue could not be solved diplomatically, he would “have to consider a military strike against North Korea.”

Is North Korea a Convenient Scapegoat for America’s Northeast Asia Strategy?

… all three major military drills took place directly under America’s “(both peacetime and wartime) operational control.” South Korean President Lee Myungbak, like all of his predecessors, does not have any legal, military and political power or authority to order or control over his own nation’s military whatsoever.

This extremely dependent (so many call it “puppet”) system is known seemingly the only case in the world in which a sovereign nation has let other country’s foreign (local) military commander has the host nation’s military (army, navy and air) operational control.

US, Insidious Harm to Korean Peninsula

In the face of a tinderbox, to trigger or to defuse the impending danger is not a choice of no consequence but a wisdom defining life or death. The U.S., as a close ally to South Korea, should be highly conscious of the destruction that the regular war games could bring about, rather than obstinately supporting the saber-rattling exercises while being heedless of its ally’s danger and safety. It is a crystal clear point that if the disaster simmering on the Korean Peninsula could put China into the knee-deep water, there must be somebody else who would get drowned.

Can Washington and Seoul Try Dealing With Pyongyang for a Change?

A summit meeting between Obama and Kim Jong Il, establishment of full diplomatic relations, and much deeper economic engagement are likely to be needed for Pyongyang to dismantle its reactor and reprocessing plant and allow its enrichment and reprocessing to be verifiably ended.