"We won't be able to make North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons through bilateral negotiations or dialogue," South Korean President Lee Myung Bak declared today, publicly admitting what has become the majority viewpoint in South Korea and elsewhere.
He went on, "There is no hope of them abandoning their nuclear weapons until the regime changes or collapses."
However, he said, “Our government’s hope is this: although we have no hope for the North Korean regime, we are able to change the North Korean people. South Korea is going to keep trying to work with the U.S. and Japan to persuade China to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but the pace of change in the North Korean people can proceed faster than this."
Adding that South Korea must therefore develop a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the repressive North Korean regime of Kim Jong Eun, Lee went on, "The Republic of Korea is no longer the small country it was a hundred years ago, always hidden behind stronger countries. It is a big country with 50 million people and a flourishing economy. We have to discard the way we used to think and independently raise awareness of these issues."
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