South Korea's 'unmistakable' opposition to North's nukes

The Aug. 10 Opinion piece "The logic behind South Korea's big embrace of North Korean nukes," by Won Joon Choe and Jack Kim, is a direct affront to South Korea's consistent stance that the North's nuclear program constitutes the single most serious threat to the South's security, politics, economy, and way of life.

The South Korean government has been working diligently to bring about a fundamental and comprehensive resolution of the nuclear issue. Our unwavering position has been that without a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue there is no hope for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula or for a mutually supportive, integrated Northeast Asia, which is the ultimate foreign policy goal of the South Korean government.

Our record is unmistakable. South Korea acceded to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1975, signed the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in 1992, and has since joined various international nuclear material control organizations such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which it joined in 2004. And at the fourth round of the six-party talks on the nuclear problem held recently in Beijing, the South Korean government made several major proposals aimed at dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

The dedicated efforts of the South Korean government to settle the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully is part of our determination that there should never be another Korean War. The article therefore represents a most absurd leap of the imagination.
Sock-Joong Yoon
Minister for public affairs
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea

Bell Labs was an innovator in its day

The Aug. 19 editorial "Kick the Internet Into High Speed" made the statement that Ma Bell "wasn't much of an innovator." Being a little familiar with the physics community and the IT industry, I had trouble with that statement.

Bell Labs, the research and development arm of AT&T, was widely regarded as perhaps the most innovative corporate laboratory in the world up through the 1970s, though not all of those innovations were in the area of telecommunications. Many of the more recent advances in telecom have had less to do with the breakup of AT&T and more to do with major advances in related fields that telcos had no hand in.

For example, higher-speed lines were laid as the increasing market penetration and advances of the Internet drove the demand for them. Before the Internet, there was essentially no need for the average consumer to have more bandwidth than a standard voice line offered.
Matt Franking
Incline Village, Nev.

Sundays in Arkansas, Berlin

William Ecenbarger's Aug. 19 Opinion piece, "Lamenting the loss of the traditional American Sunday," awakened memories of long ago and also more recent times. I grew up on a cotton farm in Arkansas and spent every Sunday going to morning and evening church services, with a leisurely afternoon dinner and a walk in the woods or down the farm roads to "assess" the crop. Sundays were for relatives and friends and respite from the work and pressures of the week.

I was reminded of what we've relinquished when I was in Berlin a couple of years ago and stores and businesses closed on Saturday afternoon and did not reopen until Monday morning. Only neighborhood cafes and train stations appeared to be open. It was quiet and peaceful.

Thanks for reminding me that less frenzy can be very satisfying for the soul.
Barbara Hood
Louisville, Ky.

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