When Lee Myung bek became president of South Korea in 2008, he said that he was not going to play patsy to North Korea. The gloves were off. Tough love was in.
Immediately, he scuppered Kim Dae Jung's 'Sunshine Policy'. Purse strings drawn tight, food supplies to a North on the verge of famine severely diminished, and no fertilizers to improve the yield of the North's crops...all that and more had gone the way of the flesh.
Militarily, Mr. Lee took up the sword and rattled his sabre. He encouraged right wing evangelical Christians and the more extreme right to disparge the North and whip up attacking Kim Jong il personally.
Furthermore, he aligned his policy with George W Bush's simplistic ideological approach to North Korea. Which, certainly, in the light of Kim Jong il's fragile health, invited a dogmatic belief that if Seoul and Washington showed no quarter to Kim Jong il & co.,North Korea would have to ultimately yield to their demands at worst or implode at best, it was hoped.
In faith, this creed has something of the sulphurous odour of medieval theology to it. This consequential faith in regime weakening or change in Pyongyang had the perverse consequence of being unachievable and has resulted in today's military escalation and momentary confrontation between the South and the North,along the NLL [Northern Limit Line] a breath away from North Korea's territorial waters. [Read GuamDairy's 'Do not rush to blame North Korea...' and 'President Obama's response to the shelling...']
Beyond the cliches of North Korea as, for example, 'the world's most God awful regime on earth'...shape and distort policy making in Washington and Seoul alike, resulting in but one option: the rekindling of the Korean War frozen in place by the 1953 Armistice Agreement. As we have seen as we watched the damages and victims of the North's shelling of the island of Yeonpyeong, that houses the South's military installation and a small civilian population -- a group of civilians that Seoul uses as a cover in order to carry out live fire joint military exercises with the US hardly 10km from North Korea's waters. Thus, a North Korean reliatory reply would bring immediate global condemnation on Pyongyang as 'the aggressor'.
We can trace this trail to reckless display of military power to Lee Myung bek trashing the 'Sunshine Policy', which was predicated, in the words of Winston Churchill, on belief that the pragmatic policy of 'jaw, jaw, jaw', is preferable to 'war, war, war!'
Today, we are witnessing the consequences of Mr. Lee's--and Mr. Obama's--perverse theology: apologetics for not engaging North Korea diplomatically but on a playing field cleared for war!
Step down Lee Myung bek! For you time has gone!