Saturday, May 31, 2008

North Korea missile testing

North Korea on Friday (5/30) fired three short-range missiles into West Sea. In response to it, South Korean government official said,
"It does not appear to have been aimed at provoking the South as the missiles were fired northeast toward North Korean land and from far north of the maritime border."

Well, it may be true. Understandably, it can be seen as a annual routine event in a bid to test its aging missle arsenal. However, it is necessary for us to contemplate its implication of series of missile launches. Even assuming that the all-out military conflict is least likely, that does not necessarily mean that North Korea exclude small-sized military disputes against its regime threats. The DRPK has publicly heightened its animosity against new ROK government, calling new ROK president, Lee as national traitor and sycophant of US. Under this virtual standoffish circumstance, the missile symbolically demonstrates that hawkish military power group in North Korea still has its voice and their pushing measures after their verbal assault against the ROK.

Lee Myung-bak has enunciated his principles and strategies on the DPRK since he was elected as a President. According to 2008 January edition of government-issued, Korea Policy Review, he said,
"Our North Korea policy must center on solving the perennial problem of hunger and then supporting North Koreans' basic human rights and dignity. If Chairman, Kim Jong-il makes a decisive choice of giving up nuclear weapons and liberalizing its economy, the international community will respond with an equally decisive choice."

Considering the point that his policy cannot proceed without the Pyongyang's cooperation, Lee's policy is likely to face the resistance from the DPRK constantly until mutual trust firmly establishes. The tug of war has started between Lee Myung-bak and Kim Jong-il, which remains to be seen. Please check this news article by clicking here.

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