- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 31, 2009


I read with interest your editorial regarding North Korea’s decision to detonate a second nuclear device on Monday (“North Korea tests Obama,” Editorial, Wednesday). The nuclear test was an unsettling action that undoubtedly has undermined America’s diplomatic policies and tested its resolve. I would only add that North Korea’s blast was exceptionally alarming to the surrounding countries in East Asia as well.

As you highlighted in your piece (and as was underscored by the United Nations Security Council’s statement on Tuesday), the test was in flagrant violation of Security Council Resolution 1718 and, as such, an affront to regional and global peace. Following the North Korean nuclear test, Taiwan, an East Asian country, said it was deeply concerned by Pyongyang’s actions and called on North Korea to show restraint and adhere to all U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting its proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials.

Ever since the end of World War II, the Korean peninsula and Taiwan Strait have remained two of the most noticeable flashpoints in East Asia. In both cases, the hostility and misunderstanding between each side - communist and democratic - over more than 60 years of separation and confrontation are unlikely to disappear overnight. When presented with the opportunity to reduce tensions, each side must adopt a fresh outlook, formulate a pragmatic approach and work to foster genuine harmony before a climate favorable to peaceful development can be created.

As a responsible partner for peace in the region, Taiwan is particularly saddened by the deteriorating relations between North Korea and South Korea. By focusing on common interests in lieu of entrenched differences, Taiwan and mainland China have been able to achieve a historic rapprochement and recently have achieved considerable progress in efforts over the past year to reduce historic tensions. Only when North Korea realizes the folly of brash saber-rattling and threats of mass destruction can both sides use this example of pragmatic engagement and mutually beneficial cooperation as a template for lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.



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