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[Editorial] Hollow proposal

While there is a near zero possibility that Kim Jong-il will accept President Lee’s offer of inviting the North Korean leader to the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul next March, which carries heavy preconditions, the gesture shows the government’s sincerity to bring the rogue regime to the international arena. President Lee also reminded Pyongyang of what it can expect from the international society in exchange for giving up its nuclear programs, which so far have earned it practically nothing.

The president promised “a bright future” for the North on two conditions. One is Pyongyang’s reaching an agreement with the international society “firmly and sincerely” to abandon its nuclear programs, and the other is that it apologize for its sinking of the South Korean patrol craft Cheonan and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island last year, which were the worst military provocations since the Korean War.

The 2nd Nuclear Security Summit is to be held on March 26-27 with 50 heads of states or governments discussing how to deepen international cooperation that helps prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. The summit will also seek to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency with the resources and authorities it needs to meet its responsibilities.

South Korea was approved to host the next summit because the participants of the first summit in Washington in April 2010 recognized the gravity of the North Korean nuclear issue, which was certain to top the agenda of the Seoul summit. The event will be a great demonstration of international solidarity against nuclear proliferation, as it takes place in a country under direct threat from a regime that has conducted nuclear weapons tests twice.

However, with the certain absence of North Korea and Iran, attendees of the summit will share a fair amount of frustration, which we only hope to turn into renewed resolve toward common efforts for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and across the world.
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