Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Poltiical tensions continue to mount in Korea. The latest act by the North was to track a US spy plane with its radar in a threatening way. However, it would seem that all the attention seeking will continue to fall on deaf ears as long as the opposing interested parties fail to reach consensus on how to deal with North Korea.

The rallies held in Seoul epitomise the schism that currently exists. And the problems are not just between Seoul and Washington but Washington and othe allies such as Beijing, Moscow and Tokyo. The article in Foregin Affairs outlines quite well events to date. However, in the recommendations I feel that the initial step of the two-stage plan is not well clarified. The issues and needs of each party is clearly addressed but it does not elaborate satsifactorily on how the allies would 'guarantee security' without a non-aggression pact. I'm sure there is a way but I felt the article skipped a beat by not divulging more on this idea. The rest seemed rather plausible on paper but highly unlikely in reality. Not least of which, it does get rid of the Agreed Framework but it is optimistic to think that in the passing years the countries have figured a better way out of the dilemma of giving North Korea energy without letting them build up weapons. Without overcoming the underlying dilemma the solution will never last.

And lastly, the Seoul Stories of the 6th Seoul Essay Contest can now be read on-line (including my essay). And if you like them as much as that, you can purchase a printed edition of all the essay available in the major bookstores around Seoul very cheaply.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui