Friday, January 30, 2009
Shredding agreements Korean style
South Korea's president Lee Myung bak should be smiling from ear to ear. His aggressive policy towards North Korea is buying off in spades. Lee scrapped the Sunshine Policy, and now North Korea has responded to Seoul's restaring the cold war with Pyongyang, by shredding all agreements with South Korea. Lee has acted provocatively if you look at the record; he was going to give the North hard love. Suddenly, Lee's game has turned serious. Korea hands now are beginning to sweat; not all, the hard right wing is dancing in the streets, for to them, North Korea is evil incarnate, and deserves the destruction that the old testament has visited on the enemies of a new Jerusalem which they see in Seoul. In consequent, a siege mentality obtains; detente is flung on recent history's dust heap; and this at a time when the once strong South Korean economy is slipping deeply into serious recession. Lee is banking on the fact that the new US president Barack Obama will back his standpoint towards Pyongyang. It is a wager that he may not win. Mr. Obama is looking towards diplomacy to resolve long standing issues, especially ones that concern the divided Korean peninsula. He cannot fully count on Lee because the South Korean president will not refrain from pushing the envelope towards the colour red. America's right wing supporters of Lee's are salivating looking for a military solution and regime change in the North. No one in his right mind would want to engage the million man North Korean force on the 38 parallel. And as one muscular arm chair general journalist who has nothing but contempt and loathing for Pyongyang points out that Lee's moves might boomerang on Seoul in these parlous economic times. For as South Korea's companies teeter on bankruptcy and diminished profits, Lee faces social dissension and unrest which may call for renewed dialogue with the North. Pyongyang may in all likelihood appeal to these forces, to push for renewed detente, which is furtherest from Lee's intentions. Alas, South Korea and the world are seeing the logical extension of George W. Bush's failed moves towards forcing North Korea to cry uncle! And fact show that Bush blinked first. And so will Lee.