Tuesday, July 17, 2012

South Korean Backpedalling

Being offline for a few weeks, I've missed out on a lot of interesting news.
For example, South Korea announcing at the IWC (International Whaling Commission) in Panama that it would exploit a loophole in the whaling moratorium (just like Japan), and hunt minkes in the Sea of Japan. Korea did a similar "scientific" hunt of minke whales in 1986 which was found by IWC to yield no relevant scientific data (again, just like Japan's!!).
No sooner had the world strongly condemned this recent decision, then South Korea kicked the "scientific whaling" idea into touch, after getting a verbal taste of what might be in store from more
enlightened nations.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan is now side-stepping responsibility by saying the views expressed by his people in Panama weren't those of the government as a whole! Hmmm, either S.Korea was "testing the waters" at IWC and is backpedalling fast after overwhelming reaction, or it had loose cannons pushing their own agenda.
Shades of our own Sir Geoffrey Palmer methinx! You'll recall back in 2010 he told the world that NZ wanted US nuke ships back in its harbours. Say what??!! He also said he supported a resumption in commercial whaling!
Once a country's official representative gives his own opinion, it's perceived - rightly or wrongly - as the official stance of that country. The risks are so self-evident that one has to question the intent of the representative. The onus must be on the government to only select representatives who will faithfully adhere to policy, and fight the good fight on our behalf - not theirs. If they stray into personal agendas, they should be immediately recalled and dismissed. Foreign policy must be a no-second-chances field.
South Korea's "people in Panama" may yet be grateful they hail from a more civilised nation than, say, China... there, if they digressed from the party line, they may well never be seen again!
By the way, anyone seen Sir Geoffrey lately?

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