Monday, October 14, 2002

Headline News today is the bombing in Bali which has claimed the lives of many tourists, mostly Australian. I have many thoughts and opinions on this matter, as an Australian and an opponent of the budget which so much focused on defense and anti-terrorist expenditure and to the excessive support given to U.S' foreign policy stance that is provocative and aggressive, but I won't comment any further here.

Back in Korea, I was reading from another foreigner in Korea their comments regarding this article from the New York post. I would like to add my own comments about this article. I agree that it was too harsh. But more importantly I feel that this article and similar ones are forgetting one critically important fact.....Sunshine policy is not the nation's defense policy. At no point has the vigilance, budget or activities of the South Korean military been compromised or reduced for any remote reason related to the Sunshine policy.

The Sunshine policy, mostly dealt with through the Ministry of Unification (not Ministry of Defense) focuses on establishing cultural and economic links as well as providing aid and support for North Korea. In terms of success, there was the historical summit, a greater number of family reunions, joint marching at the Sydney Olympics and now North Korean participation in the Asian Games. True, there have been set backs and some impatient observers critise the lack of pace of progress or results. However, the Sunshine policy is a long term project designed to lay the groundwork that may later pave the way for unification. It was never designed to realise unfication in such a short time. Any lack of progress in railways or other are more attributable to lack of finance in North Korea and perhaps even hesitation by the North to go too fast...afterall, it would be niave to think that they do not feel thier own sovereignty is threatened by cooperating too much with a much more powerful and US backed South Korea.

Criticism of the boat incident and other matters regarding border control and national security are matters of defense, not unification. In other brief comments: I also think it unfair to compare North Korean drought and starvation as being akin to Iraqi treatment of minorities within the borders of that country. And reduced US influence in Asia brought about through restored stability of the Korean peninnsula can only be a good thing. And while China is allied historically to North Korea I don't think the geo-political standing that existed in 1950 are quite the same as they are today to the point where Chinese military backing of the North is *assured*.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui