New Year is the time when we look back over what we've been through. Last year was the year we all learned an unforgettable lesson concerning North Korea, becoming an important page in the history.
In the beginning of the year, on March 26th, N. Korea attacked and sank our warship Cheonan, taking lives of 46 young soldiers. Even before this had been forgotten, on November 23rd, they shelled Yeon-pyoung Island, killing three of our soldiers, injuring civilians of the island, which was inexcusable.
Nowadays, these incidents have become what all of us from young to old are reminded of, when we think about N. Korea. They are one of the most painful memories and historic events directly related to Korean security.
N. Korea is our enemy that had casually suggested a reunion event for the separated families at Mt. Guemgang, while we could still hear the 50 families of the South wailing for their lost sons and husbands who were in their 20s and 30s, and were their pillar and hope.
Their offer was accepted, and the N. Korean government had made a fortune out of the event. Then throughout winter, they have been issuing all kinds of hostile and reckless remarks. And now, all of a sudden, they are offering us what they call a 'peace talk.'
After the recent summit between the US and China, there might come a wind of detente. Although our government made clear yesterday, that they will take no offer unless the N. Korea apologizes for their offenses, it is said that the plan for an inter-Korean high-level military talk have been ripening in the South, which should be hard to accept, especially for the 50 families I mentioned.
South Korea might indeed be the country that forgets, but haven't we all learned last year, that the issues with North Korea are directly related to the life of everyone in the South? That without a concrete solution, our destiny will continue to stand within the range of their asymmetrical weapons of mass destruction they boast of? It is as though we are standing barehanded with a mugger threatening right behind us with a knife. Could negotiation rust the blade or melt it into tools, as some groups propagate?
It is widely accepted that the N. Korean government is capable of changing their attitude immediately, and start threatening us again with the asymmetrical weapons or war provocation if we do not accede to their shameless request.
We should not overlook the fact that the N. Korea experts and the medias have come to a conclusion that behind this nonsensical demand is the North's strategic purpose to stabilize the establishment of the 3rd successor of hereditary power of the Kim Dynasty. With this as their ultimate goal, current N. Korean government is as a cancer to peace or reunification on the Korean Peninsula.
Even so, in reality, we cannot just keep on in mounting tension and conflict. Economic cooperations such as Gaeseong industrial park is still on, though reducing. It is said that the top leaders of N. Korea are discussing strategies to rebuild economy by establishing areas that borders China, such as Rajin-Sonbong or Shinuiju special economy district, as free-trade zone. Moreover, it will be inevitable for our companies and private ventures to participate in economic development of N. Korea, at one point or another in the future.
What we learned through these 60 years of national division, is that there is no definitive solution to deal with the N. Korea issues. We are beginning to understand what we need is to start taking a step forward, trying to put even just one plan into action, instead of struggling to figure out a perfect solution.
This is a lesson I learned as well, working for two years as a journalist and commentator on politics, diplomacy, and military of the N. Korea: It is time for action, to deal with the issues with the North.
One of the most significant strategic information that will affect the future of North Korean society, playing a key role in solving the issues, are the strategies to stabilize the establishment of the 3rd successor. Getting hold of them will be the most active measures among the others to lead the North into the right path of humane, democratic, free market society.
We have different ways to treat cancer, such as surgical operation or long-term measures to inhibit cancer spread, but the patient(rather than the doctor) should be the one to make the final choice. Likewise, our major mission as an organization is to inform our readers, with speed and accuracy, of the objective strategic information of N. Korea, so that they can find their own ways to help North Korean society prepare for the future.
Even with the superior power, one can never win a battle unless he knows his enemy. But we, confronting the North, do not have much strategic information concerning Kim Jong-il and Jong-un's closest aides, or the intention behind their military, political, economic system and its transition. I believe that obtaining strategic information and its analysis focused on these points, should be the first step toward the concrete action.
Translation by Hoyeon Choi Supervised by Sunny Kang
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