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Roh Moo Hyun says: "No war in Korea"
Korea WebWeekly
2/13/2003

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According to OhMyNews, South Korea's president-elect Roh Moo Hyun told a group of labor activists that it is better to tell the United Stated what's on our mind, even if it entails some hardship for us, and prevent war, than to let war come to Korea and kill us all. The meeting was held on the 13th of this month.

Roh said that the Korean news organs follow blindly American news organs on disputes between Seoul and Washington on North Korea's nuclear program. He emphasized that we should tote our own stance and work out differences with the United States as equal partners for the purpose of preventing another war on the Korean Peninsula.

Roh stated clearly that he does not agree with the US policy on the nuclear crisis and that he will do his utmost to remove the threat of war in Korea. War prevention is his top priority. He mentioned that some people are afraid to deviate from the US line for fear of economic reprisals - but going along with the US line will lead to war. In case of war, the US military will control South Korean military and Roh, as South Korea's president, will have no power over his own military.

Roh wants to strengthen the US-Seoul tie on the basis of equality, which allows differences in policies. Roh wants to solve the nuclear crisis through negotiations - not through military strikes. He said that the American press has published distorted reports on what he stands for, and that the Korean press should counter them effectively.

On a related subject, Assemblywoman Chu Mi Ae, one of Roh's envoys to the United States, disclosed for the first time the inside-story of her mission to the United States. She believes that her mission had achieved Roh's objectives but she is dismayed by the distorted reports on her mission coming out of America. She told the US policy makers that North Korea faces political and economic sanctions and may sell nuclear materials to the enemies of the US - and in order to prevent this, the United States must negotiate with North Korea directly. She claims that the US officials were receptive to her plea.

Some news organs say that the mission was a failure because the envoys failed to meet Bush. Chu claims that meeting with Bush was not the primary goal of the mission. The fact of the matter is that Bush was called away by the unexpected tragedy of Columbia. Had it not been for the Columbia crash, Bush might have met the delegation. They met Bush's key officials: Defense Secretary Rumsfield and Vice President Dick Chaney.

Rumsfeld told the delegates that it is up to Bush to strike or not strike North Korea if it starts processing spent nuclear fuel rods. He said sneeringly that he has not been asked by Bush for advice yet. Rumsfeld has stated categorically that North Korea has enough plutonium for 4-6 nukes. He told the New York Times on February 9th that North Korea has enough plutonium for 6-8 nukes - according to the US CIA. Rumsfeld is saying that North Korea has enough plutonium to make nukes - not that North Korea has 1-2 nukes as he used to say in the past.

* The viewpoint expressed by Korea WebWeekly does not necessarily reflect that of AFAR.

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