Chosun Ilbo, South Korea
Kim Jong-il Wants Credit for 'Protecting' South Korea!


July 12, 2006
Chosun Ilbo - South Korea - Original Article (English)

Cahones: North Korea's senior Cabinet Counselor
Kwon Ho Ung, after he told a 'stunned' South Korea
delegation that the South belefits from the North
missiles, and so deserves food aid. (above).

RealVideo[SLIDE SHOW: North Korea Missile Launch].

— BBC VIDEO NEWS: U.S. Ambassador
Christopher Hill in Beijing to Pressure China
to act against North, July 7, 00:02:02 RealVideo

Kim Jong-il has done it again: defied the world.
According to the propaganda of his regime,
Pyongyang's missile program ensures regional
stability. (below).


North Korean Senior Cabinet Counselor Kwon Ho-ung on Wednesday told a stunned South Korean delegation at ministerial talks in Busan that his country's Songun or military-first policy "helps the security of South Korea too, and a vast majority of South Korean citizens have benefited from it." North Korea's missile launches and nuclear weapons program are apparently a boon to us. The least we can do in return, Kwon indicated, is let our delegations visit "sacred places" in the North, like Kim Il-sung's embalmed cadaver, suspend Korea-U.S. joint military exercises and abolish the National Security Law. Oh, and deliver the 500,000 tons of rice and light industry raw materials we promised.

The seven missiles that North fired last week included between two and four Scuds with ranges of 300-500 km, capable of hitting anywhere in the South, whose security, claims Kwon, they nonetheless improve. Words fail to describe the preposterousness of North Korea's demands.

But it is equally absurd that our government continues to listen to this rubbish. The foreign and defense ministers originally wanted the [reunification] talks cancelled, saying that it is time for a firm response, but the President backed the unification minister's call to go ahead, saying it made no sense to demand a solution through dialogue while canceling dialogue. Didn't the government anticipate what the North would do at the talks? If it didn't, it is incompetent; if it did but agreed to hold the talks anyway, it has betrayed the people.

Kwon's claims for the Songun policy, as it happens, echo the argument of some pro-Pyongyang organizations in the South who say North Korea's missiles and nuclear weapons will eventually be ours too. The government has guaranteed that members of these organizations can visit North Korea and tried to prevent their arrest under the National Security Law. Economic cooperation funds provided by the South to the North since the 2000 inter-Korean summit amount to 3.233 trillion won ($3.3 billion), 1.3 times North Korea's entire budget last year. There is a very good chance that some of the money went into developing the North's nuclear weapons and missiles, but the government has maintained there's nothing it can do about it. In the context of its "one nation" rhetoric, the North now assures us that the money was well spent on protecting our security.

And so it goes on. Despite doing everything for dialogue with Pyongyang and pouring so much aid into the North, our government never gets anything it wants in return. These meetings simply provide the North with an ever-ready propaganda platform, from where it can laugh at us.