JoongAng Daily, South Korea
'Don't Blame the Americans'


October 12, 2006
South Korea - JoongAng Ilbo - Original Article (English)    

Former President Kim Dae-jung: The author of South Korea's
'Sunshine Policy' toward North Korea blames the Bush
Adminstration for prompting North Korea's nuclear test.

RealVideoKim Dae-jung


Former President Kim Dae-jung and the ruling party blame the United States for the North's nuclear test. In short, this simply isn't the case, and making such an irresponsible argument does nothing to resolve the current crisis.

Over the past decade, it was North Korea who broke the consensus regarding Pyongyang's nuclear development program. In 1991, North and South Korea adopted a joint statement on non-proliferation. Meanwhile, the North continued its nuclear development behind the scenes. Then in 2002, North Korea admitted that even since 1994, when the U.S. and North Korea agreed on freezing the North's nuclear program, Pyongyang had been developing nuclear devices. Later, the building of a light-water reactor was delayed when North Korean submarines were found infiltrating South Korean waters. Those who blame Washington for the North's nuclear test ignore these facts.

They claim that the United States has pursued an exclusively hard-line policy toward North Korea. But is this really the case? Together with South Korea, China and Japan, the United States promised that it would provide a huge amount of economic assistance as well as security guarantees for the regime if North Korea gave up its nuclear ambitions. But North Korea, obsessed with possessing nuclear arms, ignored this offer and has crossed the line by conducting a nuclear test. Those who blame Washington fail to acknowledge that this is the core of the crisis with the North.

North Korea conducted its nuclear test while under financial sanctions by the United States. If this were the central reason for the North's test, than perhaps Washington should lift those sanctions. But to do so would conflict with the personality of the Bush Administration. Is it fair to blame only the United States, which has no choice but to take such measures to protect its financial system, without reprimanding the party that is committing international crime against it? If North Korea had produced and circulated counterfeit Korean bills, would we have sat idly by?

'Kim Jong-il thanks his South Korean counterparts as he pushes
the button that will detonate a nuclear bomb, including former
President Kim Dae-jung who initiated the so-called Sunshine
Policy of engagement, and incumbent President Roh Moo-hyun,
who has been unfailingly friendly toward the North.'

[Chosun Ilbo, South Korea]


At the United Nations, stern measures will be taken against North Korea. Apart from that, the United States and Japan are planning separate measures. There is absolutely no chance that the United States will say, "We will lift the measures against North Korea because it is our fault that the North carried out a nuclear test."

Given this situation, if we in the South blame Washington, we will be painted with the same brush as North Korea, and will certainly find ourselves isolated by international society. The only reason Mr. Kim [Dae-jung] and other politicians are trying to blame Washington is that they want to avoid criticism that their Sunshine Policy RealVideo is a failure.