Column: A dangerous love letter

by Nobuo Ishida, Editorial Writer

For children, being mean or acting up can be quite common when trying to win the attention of someone they like. The true emotion behind this behavior, a sort of unpenned love letter, will likely never be conveyed. Many people may have their own bittersweet memory of this kind.

North Korea has conducted its second underground nuclear test. This high-handed act exhibits a flat defiance of the six-party talks, where the issue of abolishing these weapons should be discussed. However, some see this act as a kind of “love letter” to U.S. President Barack Obama.

What North Korea wants most is the guarantee that its dictatorial regime can be preserved. In order to obtain this assurance, North Korea hopes to negotiate one-on-one with the U.S., a desirable guarantor. But the U.S. has contended that the negotiations should be held within the framework of the six-party talks. This is what made North Korea turn to strong-arm tactics.

Children are said to test other people’s patience, purposefully disobeying or annoying others to see how much they are willing to endure. Their behavior may be a kind of litmus test to check if the person’s commitment to safeguarding them can be trusted. North Korea’s diplomacy may appear strategic in its successful attempts to rile other countries, but it is childish all the same.

After North Korea’s missile launch in April, some people maintained that the country could have solved its food shortage for a whole year with the money that was spent on conducting the launch.

It can be said that North Korea has sent a “love letter” to the U.S. while leaving its own people to starve. Who would want such an exceedingly dangerous love letter?

(Originally published on May 26, 2009)

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