Thursday, January 1, 2015

Park calls for military readiness amid tensions with N. Korea

Although there are some who find this unhelpful in terms of engagement with north Korea and would in fact advocate stopping alliance exercises in order to bring north Korea to the negotiating table and believe that canceling alliance exercises would change north Korean behavior.

However, I think we should understand (and fortunately President Park does) that trustpolitik and the Dresden initiative rest on the foundation of a strong ROK/US alliance because only that can guarantee the security of the Korean peninsula.  We cannot bet on north Korean words and agreements because since 1992 and the ARNE (as well as going back to 1950 when the north called for talks at Kaesong about a month before June 25, 1950) the north's actions have always been counter to their words and agreements.

A strong military provide President Park the flexibility to execute a broad range of policies that include engagement and negotiation.

Park calls for military readiness amid tensions with N. Korea

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Published : 2015-01-01 09:24
Updated : 2015-01-01 09:24
President Park Geun-hye called on the military Thursday to maintain its readiness, saying robust security is a must to lay the groundwork for potential unification with North Korea.
  
"We should end the history of division by putting an end to the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula," Park said in a New Year's message to the country's 650,000-strong military.
  
The Korean Peninsula was divided into the capitalistic South and communist North after its liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
  
The comments came three days after South Korea proposed that the two rival Koreas hold ministerial talks in January to discuss such bilateral issues as the reunion of families separated by the war.
  
Still, it remains unclear whether North Korea will accept South Korea's offer.
  
She also expressed hope that the military will receive public trust and love by establishing a new military culture, remarks apparently aimed at boosting morale in the military.
  
South Korea's military came under fire last year over a series of deaths blamed on a deep-rooted culture of abuse and bullying in barracks.
  
In June, an Army sergeant who had been bullied by his comrades went on a shooting rampage near the border with North Korea, killing five people and wounding seven others.
  
All able-bodied South Korean men must carry out compulsory military service for about two years in a country facing North Korea across the heavily fortified border. (Yonhap)

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