World economy ties Korea, Black Belt

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Normally this space is used to comment on local matters and sometimes statewide issues. Sometimes we find worldwide news that is so threatening that it hits home.

The situation with North Korea is a good example. What is happening in North Korea is scary. The security of the entire Asian region relies on a stable and contained North Korea.

North Korea is a long way from Selma but the distance doesn’t mean there is little reason for concern. It’s been said that we live in a global economy. That sounds productive and modern, but it is also very real. What happens in Korea can affect our lives in a big way. Once Korean car manufacturer Hyundai decided to build an automotive manufacturing plant near Montgomery, our area and Korea were linked.

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As strange as it may sound, the Black Belt region needs a stable and productive South Korea. North Korea’s recent saber rattling shows just how fragile the world economy can be. One nuclear bomb directed at South Korea could have a devastating impact that could reach communities like Prattville, Greenville and Selma.

The United States needs to deal with North Korea in a firm way. North Korea is a nation that has shown it can and will go to war.

North Korea’s removal of United Nations inspectors is frightening. Moreover, North Korea has made it known that is has an active nuclear bomb program and intends to further refine that program.

North Korea says it wants to talk to the United States. That’s a good start to resolving this crisis. During these talks, the United States and South Korea need to be firm in their requests.

There is no reason for either nation to further pacify North Korea. The policy of giving the North Koreans goods in exchange for “good behavior” is wrong and will only lead to more “tantrums.”

Past policies have rewarded the North Koreans for threatening South Korea and the free world.

This needs to stop and North Korea needs to be dealt with in a diplomatic but firm manner.