Activities: 2006: Abstract: Wi

July 13, 2006 Minister Sung-Lac Wi

Dr. Sung Lac Wi
Minister for Political Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea

Topic:  North Korean Nuclear Issues.

Dr. Sung Lac Wi's lecture on the current situations and challenges facing the Korean peninsula offered a new perspective to the Executive Lecture Forum members and their guest.  The Minister started his excellent lecture by offering a brief history of the ups and downs of the South Korean negotiations with communist North Korea.  He categorically stated that a non-peaceful approach to stop North Korea's development of nuclear weapons could throw the whole Korean peninsula and the surrounding region into an immeasurable crisis.  Therefore, his government is working closely with the U.S. and Japan to ensure a united front for effective negotiations during the so-called Six-Party Talks.  After the brief but positive discussions, North Korea changed its policy from cooperation to confrontation, said the Minister.  The leader of this rogue State, Kim Jung Il, stated that they possess nuclear weapons and declared suspension of the talks.  The secret negotiations between North and South Korea and the United States, in March of this year, and the following negotiations in Tokyo did not end with positive results.  To make the situation worse, on July 4th when the United States celebrated its Independence Day, the North Koreans test fired one long-range and six short to mid-range missiles.  Minister Wi labeled these launches provocative acts.

The Minister closed his well-received briefing by saying that the Allies should approach the North Korea talks with a sense of pragmatism and realism.  The international community, said Minister Wi, should speak with one voice, sending the leaders of North Korea a clear message that the price for bad behavior will be high.  That way, the Six-Party Talks will resume, and the ultimate result will be a nuclear free Korean Peninsula.

© 2006 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
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