Friday, June 23, 2006

The ROK is getting along well with the DPRK. Discuss.

I have forgotten all my Korean, so I have to accept the English version of this speech as definitive.

Definitively nuts, that is.

Korea Must Be Strong Enough to Repel Japan: Roh
Chosun Ilbo English News

President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday invited 200 maritime police guarding waters around the Dokdo islets on the East Sea to luncheon at Choeng Wa Dae. Dokdo is the subject of persistent territorial claims from Japan. “Although Japan has stronger fighting power than Korea, Korea's national defense is strong enough to deter Japan from invading,” Roh was quoted as saying. “It is important that our defensive capability becomes strong enough to give impression that an invasion would do more harm than good.”
Oh, I don't think there is any question of that, is there?

Is there?

The president stressed the need to improve military information technology at least to the level of Japan's. “I know you had a difficult time coping with Japan's attempt to trespass into our exclusive economic zone in the East Sea due to a shortage of IT equipment and personnel compared to Japan,” he said.

But Roh urged the officers chiefly to strengthen their fighting power so they can effectively respond to unexpected incidents in the East Sea. “Beyond that, leave it to the politicians,” he added.
Oh, oh, oh, I don't think they should do that...especially if you, Mr. Roh, are one of those politicians.

The president summed up the Dokdo conflict by saying the government maintained a principle of “silent diplomacy” -- read ignoring Japanese claims --“to deal with the issue in the belief that we are unlikely to lose the islets to Japan, but we have come to the limit...and reached a point where we have to confront Japan directly. We have to make our position clear and should not step back even if it requires a lot of efforts and time.” Roh concluded Japan cannot hope to become a global leader commensurate with its economic and democratic strength unless it stops attempts to seize Korea's territory.
O.K., so this last paragraph is sensible. Japan should give up its claim to the islands ...if and only if the South Korean government pledges to support Japan's claims in Japan's territorial disputes with China and Russia.

Having South Korean backing for Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (does "a global leader commensurate with its economic and democratic strength" have any other meaning?) would also be nice.

Now what are the chances of either of those minimum conditions being met?

Hmmmm...let me whip out my electron microscope here...

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