Sinking the Sunshine Policy

Last week's naval battle between North and South Korean warships sank more than a South Korean frigate. It also probably sank the "Sunshine Policy" of rapprochement with North Korea that once appeared to be the crowning achievement of Kim Dae Jung's presidency in South Korea.

Two years have passed since Kim Dae Jung and North Korea's Chairman Kim Jong Il met in Pyongyang, the North's impoverished capital. Since then, Kim Jong Il has failed to make his promised return visit to Seoul. That failure suggests that North Korea's fundamental hostility to the South remains unabated.

Why? We can only speculate that North Korea's military is resisting any real change because the regime's survival depends on its "military first" politics. So long as North Korea's military remains the guardian of the regime by advocating this doctrine, it will be impossible for Kim Jong Il to change his country's ruling domestic and foreign policies.

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