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A short interview.

 
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indiercj



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:46 am    Post subject: A short interview. Reply with quote

I've never thought he was 'pugnacious'! I though Mr. Bush was. Anyway...


South Korean president-elect Roh Moo Hyun

ŁŕA Life-or-Death IssueŁ§

Some in Washington worry that Roh Moo Hyun is naive about the dangers posed by North Korea. Roh worries that America could ignite a devastating war

By George Wehrfritz and B. J. Lee
NEWSWEEK

March 3 issue ? More than just about anything else, Roh Moo Hyun loves a good fight. It was his pugnacity that helped the 56-year-old former human-rights lawyer to win South KoreaŁ§s presidential election in December, against all expectations.

BY STANDING FOR a clean break from the status quo?as exemplified by the sometimes overbearing influence of the United States?Roh drew unprecedented support from the countryŁ§s chronically disaffected youth. He promised to keep economic and diplomatic channels open to Pyongyang. And he vowed he would never ŁŢkowtowŁţ to America, but would demand to be treated as an equal. Days before his Inauguration?and ahead of a key meeting this week with Secretary of State Colin Powell?Roh talked to NEWSWEEKŁ§s George Wehrfritz and B. J. Lee. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: You have demanded an equal partnership with the United States, which worries many Americans. Do you fear an anti-Korean backlash?
Roh: Most Koreans like the United States and also like Americans. When we think we have been unfairly treated, we may complain or object, but this is different from anti-American sentiment. [Now] major U.S. media and government officials are mentioning the possibility of attacking North Korea. It is a life-or-death issue. A president is responsible for his peopleŁ§s safety. That is why I am asking the United States to refrain from taking too much risk. Some people in the United States are not happy because they interpret this as South Korea siding with the North. They are calling us disloyal, or are saying that we have forgotten what we owe to the United States.

NEWSWEEK: You praise American values. But do you also think, as do many Asian and European leaders, that Washington is trying to impose its value system on the rest of the world?
Roh: The new order the U.S. is demanding is, in the main, just. But it also has unilateralist characteristics.

NEWSWEEK: Can you elaborate?
Roh: Aha. [18-second pause] LetŁ§s not go too deep into this. I love my wife very much even though I have some dissatisfaction with her.


NEWSWEEK: This week Pyongyang threatened to abandon the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War. How should Seoul and Washington respond?
Roh: I hope North Korea will give up its obsession with nuclear weapons and behave rationally. The problem lies in the fact that North Korea is a special country. Its situation, thinking and behavior are unique. It is both important and [yet] very difficult to shape North Korea into a rational partner for dialogue.

NEWSWEEK: This week the U.S. ambassador in Seoul, Thomas Hubbard, suggested reducing the number of American combat troops in Korea. Might such a move serve to reduce mistrust?
Roh: Like most of the Korean people, I want U.S. forces to remain on the peninsula. However, many people think that Korean requests regarding the reduction in the size and alignment of the U.S. force will not be fully accommodated. [And] they understand very well that even if we implore the U.S. not to leave the country, once the U.S. decides to leave, it will leave.

NEWSWEEK: You fear abandonment?
Roh: Many Korean people have such a concern.

NEWSWEEK: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made a very strong moral case for regime change in Iraq. He argues that Saddam has maintained power by causing the deaths of more than a million of his people. Should the same case be made against North KoreaŁ§s Kim Jong Il?
Roh: I wish all governments could be democratic and moral. However, when we look at the international order today, we see no instances of a country deciding the fate of another using the barometers of democracy, morality or human rights.

NEWSWEEK: When you meet President Bush, what priorities will you stress regarding North Korea?
Roh: I have two points to make to President Bush, and they are related. I want to stress that North Korea was opening up and that it is already changing. If we give them what they desperately want?regime security, normal treatment and economic assistance?they will be willing to give up their nuclear ambitions. We should not, therefore, treat them as criminals but as partners in negotiations.

2003 Newsweek, Inc.
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JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:20 am    Post subject: Re: A short interview. Reply with quote

indiercj wrote:

Roh: Like most of the Korean people, I want U.S. forces to remain on the peninsula. However, many people think that Korean requests regarding the reduction in the size and alignment of the U.S. force will not be fully accommodated. [And] they understand very well that even if we implore the U.S. not to leave the country, once the U.S. decides to leave, it will leave.

NEWSWEEK: You fear abandonment?
Roh: Many Korean people have such a concern.



Nice spin. This *man*runs on an anti-american flatform, rallying with hardliners for the ejection of American troops and then he says this out the other side of his mouth?

This is something he'd never admit to the Korean press.
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Ralph



Joined: 27 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were the president of Korea, what would you do? Start a war with the North, stand in the path of a million Northern soldiers, have about a million of your people die within the first couple of days of the war, and another few million die in the following weeks from exposure to biological and chemical weapons. I didnt even mention the possibility of the north using nukes. And all for what? To make that lunatic in Washington happy?
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indiercj



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: A short interview. Reply with quote

JackSarang wrote:
Nice spin. This *man*runs on an anti-american flatform, rallying with hardliners for the ejection of American troops and then he says this out the other side of his mouth?

I believe he said the US troops would better get out of the peninsula more than 20 years ago. Because at that time the US was officially backing up the Jeon Doo Hwan dictatorship and turned a blind eye to the Guangju Massacre. He had every reason to say so. On top of that it was in the political context of more than 20 years ago! Do you still stick to everything you sad 20 years ago? If someone changes his opinion after 20 years, does this make him a "jackass"?
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Jack Sarang is trying to say that he RAN on that platform during THIS election campaign. Don't know for sure if he did or didn't. From what I have read, I believe that he did.
If he did, he certainly has flip flopped.
He's a politician, right? I think it is one of the commandments in the politician Bible.

Thou shalt flip flop and break every promise thou has ever made.
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Ajarn Miguk



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: TDY As Assigned

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:51 pm    Post subject: NK Missile(s) Launched Into Sea of Japan Reply with quote

All networks are reporting NK just launched one or more missiles into the Sea of Japan. Stock markets are not happy. Brinksmanship continues.
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JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Matko pretty much sums it up.


And Roh and everyone else who believes in his policy is living in a dreamworld. The only way reunification will occur is if NK conquers the South or Jong-Il and his Son/successor are overthrown. There is no peaceful solution here. The grand delusion so many Koreans hold on this is laughable.

Its also laughable that they support "peace" with the North when its clear they don't want it. So Kim Jong-Il is pissed off at the USA. His response? Well, I'm pissed off at the USA so I'll attack my Korean brethren to the South. The South Koreans have been nothing but conciliatory, but I'll bomb the shit out of them just to get back at Bush. Good plan. Yet you still want peace with this guy?
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I don't really like Noh, but I am excited about his domestic policy. I also like the idea of getting the US troops out of S. Korea. If Noh can get this done too, Korea will a bit weaker and poorer, but Korea will be a much better place to live. (Maybe) Lets hope.
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indiercj



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He never said he wants US troops out of Korea after what he said before the crowd in early 80's. Since way before the election, he always made it clear that he wanted US forces in Korea even after future unification. He perfectly understands that it is the US government's call according to their own intersts wheter to pull out their troops or not. He only mentioned that if they feel like it he will not beg not to as so many past dictators did. A plan is already reviewed to reduce the ground forces and relocate troops in Seoul and it's vicinity to farther south. All the conservative pro-american newspapers like Chosun Ilbo, Dong-ah Ilbo, Jungang Ilbo(the Big 3 called ChoJungDong) including K heralds and K Times, who have been opposing him all the way have been describing him as just a kid who tends to flop over easily which sounds simply wrong and unreasonable to many korean voters' minds.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:36 am    Post subject: Re: A short interview. Reply with quote

"[And] they understand very well that even if we implore the U.S. not to leave the country, once the U.S. decides to leave, it will leave."

I wonder why he never seems to get around to saying the the US will leave if SK asks/tells it to remove the troops?
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Arthur Fonzerelli



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: Suwon

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: A short interview. Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
"[And] they understand very well that even if we implore the U.S. not to leave the country, once the U.S. decides to leave, it will leave."

I wonder why he never seems to get around to saying the the US will leave if SK asks/tells it to remove the troops?


I'm very confused on this point. Which one is it? Is USFK staying because the ROK wants them here or is USFK here because it wants to be here??

Can someone please clarify?
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dogbert



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Killbox 90210

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:30 am    Post subject: Re: A short interview. Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
"[And] they understand very well that even if we implore the U.S. not to leave the country, once the U.S. decides to leave, it will leave."

I wonder why he never seems to get around to saying the the US will leave if SK asks/tells it to remove the troops?


Simple. Shift the blame.
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