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Appeasement is a term too-often used against anyone anywhere who opposes any war advanced by the most extreme hawk. But Seoul has done more than simply push for engagement with the North. It has showered Pyongyang with material rewards without holding the Kim regime responsible for any of its crimes.
Even worse than its reluctance to accept refugees, however, is its refusal to seek an accounting for the nearly 500 South Koreans thought to have been abducted by the DPRK since the Korean War. A much smaller number of kidnappings of Japanese has destroyed the North’s pursuit of detente with Tokyo. But Seoul appears to have done little to seek justice for its own citizens.
Obviously, South Korea is entitled to set whatever standards it desires for welcoming refugees and appropriate whatever sum of money that it desires to give them. Given its proximity to the heavily armed North, Seoul understandably pursues policies intended to foster good bilateral relations.
The South also can legitimately disagree with Washington over the best strategy for dealing with the DPRK. Argued President Roh Moo-hyun: “Many people might think that this is the better way to address the issue of the human rights predicament in North Korea. However, I feel that the more advisable course would be one that would not drive North Korea into a corner.”
Fair enough. However, there is no excuse for discouraging starving and oppressed people from fleeing the North. Nor should the ROK government ignore the fate of its own citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang. The DPRK should be expected to give something in return for the billions of won in aid and trade emanating from South Korea. Such as an accounting for those abducted.
Publicly labeling North Korea as a member of the “Axis of Evil” probably was counterproductive. But the North Korean system is evil. Which other nations, especially South Korea, should remember as they develop policies towards the North.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online