Chosun Ilbo, South Korea
Seoul is 'Ostracized' from Discussions on North Korea

"China has clasped hands with America and Japan and has ignored the outstretched hand of South Korea."

November 24, 2006

Chosun Ilbo - South Korea - Original Article (English)

President Bush meets President Roh Moo-hyun at the APEC
Summit in Hanoi. The body langauge says it al, Nov. 18l. (above).

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Concerns over North Korea
hover over APEC Summit, Nov. 18, 00:02:16

Not apparently enjoying the experience, President Bush and
Condoleezza Rice looking over at South Korean President Roh
at the APEC Summit in Hanoi, Nov. 18. (below).

President Bush invites Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right and
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to sit, for a meeting at the APEC
Summit, Nov. 18. (below).


Time Magazine, in an article entitled Why the U.S. and South Korea Don't See Eye to Eye RealVideo, assesses the result of Saturday's APEC Summit in Hanoi, and remarks that South Korea and China have virtually exchanged roles of U.S. ally and U.S. irritant in  the region.

While the good news is that China seems more determined to rein in Kim Jong-il's nuclear program, the article says that the bad news is that South Korea - ostensibly a close U.S. ally - "was notably absent from the 'eye to eye' crowd." Kim Jong-il has succeeded at driving a wedge between the U.S. and South Korea, it adds.

Meeting with President Roh Moo-hyun in Hanoi, Bush thanked him for South Korea's support for and cooperation with the Proliferation Strategy Initiative RealVideo. A senior government official explained, "South Korean and U.S. heads of state had a meeting of minds. Concerns about a Seoul-Washington conflict over South Korea's non-participation in the PSI have been completely dispelled."

Unfortunately, the reality is just the opposite. The United States no longer regards South Korea as a partner for resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, to the point where it Washington no longer even bothers to be unpleasant about it. Though our government in Seoul said it would join hands with Beijing to counter American and Japanese pressure on North Korea, China has clasped hands with America and Japan and has ignored the outstretched hand of South Korea.

A rumor of a deal between the U.S. and China is making the rounds, according to which Washington will withdraw its forces from South Korea and put an end to its alliance with Seoul, and in return, Beijing will guarantee a nuclear-free North Korea by overthrowing the Kim Jong-il regime and establishing a pro-Beijing regime.

The idea of self-reliance that the Roh Administration has held so firmly to for the past three years and nine months has led to its complete exclusion from talks on vital matters that concern our very survival. South Korea's situation resembles that of 100 years ago, when the nation's sovereignty fell to the ambitions of the Japanese Empire, after the Korean Government miscalculated amidst the fierce competition of superpowers vying for their own national interests. And the major players were mostly the same as today. Then, it was the King's incompetence that was responsible. Now, the people know who is to blame.