The South Korean government apparently is resisting appeasement in the face of terrorism:
The beheading of a South Korean hostage set off demands, including from the president’s own party, for the country to stop sending troops to Iraq.
The stunned nation awoke Wednesday to television images of a blindfolded Kim Sun-il kneeling in an orange jumpsuit before his masked captors and news that he was later decapitated.
President Roh Moo-hyun denounced the killing and stood by his government’s plan to send 3,000 additional troops to Iraq beginning in August. But the slaying underlined divisions on the domestic front.
“This incident was shocking and tragic, but it mustn’t shake our decision and principle to send troops to Iraq,” the country’s biggest newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, said in an editorial. “In times like this, the president and the government must focus and not allow the deployment issue to once again divide the public.”
Sadly, not so much the U.S. government:
As South Korea collectively mourns the beheading of one of its citizens in Iraq, its nuclear neighbor to the north will have to consider a fresh offer from the United States.
At six-nation talks in Beijing, the US proposed giving North Korea energy aid and a security guarantee in exchange for ending its nuclear program, reports the Associated Press.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that “the White House initiative seems to suggest a tactically kinder and gentler approach to the hard-core Stalinist regime,” which “came about partly from a sense among US officials that Washington was wrongly being framed as the hostile or intractable actor in the talks.”
The New York Times reported Tuesday that President Bush authorized US negotiators to offer North Korea the “new but highly conditional set of incentives.” The Times points out that this process would be similar to what Libya committed to in December 2003, and “the first significant, detailed overture to North Korea since Mr. Bush took office three years ago.”
It worked so well when the Clinton Administration tried this a decade ago.