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Kim Dae-jung Attacks U.S. Neo-cons
Former president of South Korea criticizes American policy on North Korea
Kim Dang (internews)     Email Article  Print Article 
Published 2006-09-15 18:42 (KST)   
Kim Dae-jung said during his special interview with Le Monde Diplomatique (Korean edition) on Sept. 14 that American neo-conservatives and Japanese right-wing groups should not abuse or sanction North Korea in order to restrain China. The person on the left in this photo is Ignacio Ramonet, the editor-in-chief of Le Monde Diplomatique.
©2006 Le Monde Korea


Kim Dae-jung, a former president of South Korea, has finally attacked the neo-cons in the United States. He had been protesting with "silence" in the three months after the plan for his second visit to North Korea broke down.

Kim criticized the neo-cons in the U.S., saying that they have abused North Korea. He appealed to the governments of South and North Korea and the U.S., as well as conscientious people around the world, asking them to respect South Korea's opinions about North Korea.

Based on the common sense that there should be no war in the Korean peninsula in the future, he argued that the alliance of South Korea and the U.S. should be aimed at furthering peace, not war. According to him, the U.S. should offer opportunities for talks with North Korea.

During his special interview with the Korean edition of Le Monde Diplomatique he said that American neo-conservatives and Japanese right-wing groups should not abuse or put sanctions on North Korea in order to restrain China.

"American neo-cons and Japanese right-wing groups. Do not abuse North Korea any more!"

Concerning the current tensions and conflicts over North Korea's nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula, Kim said that the fundamental problems were caused by the relationship between North Korea and the U.S., rather than the relationship between South Korea and the U.S.(as some people wanted to believe). He argued that, in spite of North Korea's desperate wish for talks, American neo-cons have pushed North Korea into the corner just as Israel has built barriers against Palestine.

However, he also emphasized that both North Korea and the U.S. were responsible for the current undesirable situation. Furthermore, he clearly pointed out the responsibilities of North Korea; the North has tended to cause events which are then intentionally "used" by American and Japanese conservatives.

Nonetheless, Kim argued that even if North Korea already possessed nuclear weapons they would be nothing more than toys from the perspective of the United States.

According to Kim Dae-jung, the U.S. is not afraid of North Korea's nuclear power but the neo-cons abuse the situation. In other words, North Korea is trapped by the neo-cons' intentions.

Kim Dae-jung further argued that Japan has tried hard to gain its own advantage by attacking North Korea's behavior. Japan's dealings with North Korea are, indeed, abusing the country for its own interests.

Kim explained that, despite North Korea's eagerness, the U.S. did not meet with North Korea because of China.

He said that American neo-cons understood China as a potential enemy in the future and therefore tried to enhance armaments such as the development of Missile Defense (MD) systems. Kim argued that the neo-cons targeted North Korea in order to excuse the expansion of armaments.

"President Bush did not keep his promises."

Kim Dae-jung criticized Bush's lack of responsibility in dealing with issues on North Korea.

"As far as I know, the Korea policy of the U.S. is currently drawn by the neo-cons in the U.S. President Bush is busy with Middle East affairs and issues on North Korea are managed by the neo-cons. As a result, Mr. Bush frequently changes his positions in North Korea affairs."

Kim Dae-jung takes as an example the fact that Bush fully agreed with him during the summit between them in Feb. 2002 and promised not to attack North Korea. Bush also promised to provide food aid and offer opportunities for talks with the North. Kim criticizes the fact that, although Bush announced these three promises in his press conference, no promise has been realized.

In fact, this is the first time that Kim Dae-jung has directly attacked the North Korea policy of the U.S., although he has occasionally expressed his discontent against it.

Ironically, Roh Moo-hyun, the incumbent president of South Korea, had a summit with George Bush on the same day as the interview was released, Sept. 14. At the same time, speculations on the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's visit to China have been circulating. As the situation in the Korean peninsula is developing fast, Kim's messages imply important meanings.

The interview was published in Le Monde Diplomatique, which focuses on international affairs and is a monthly magazine of Le Monde, a well-known daily newspaper in France. The special interview with Kim Dae-jung was conducted by Park Sun Sung, the chairperson of the editing committee of Le Monde Diplomatique Korea and professor at Dongguk University in Seoul. This special feature was titled as: "The Korean peninsula at risk, the urgent message of Kim Dae-jung for the world."

Meanwhile, Kim Dae-jung will give his lecture on the 21st century and the future of the Korean people at Busan University on the south coast of Korea on Sept. 15. His lecture deserves attention because he may make more statements about the current situation in the Korean peninsula.
©2006 OhmyNews

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