Taiwan should be prepared for North Korean crisis

Top presidential official emphasizes Taiwan's soft power

Presidential Secretary-General Joseph Wu (left) with former AIT Director William Stanton. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan should take precautions and prepare itself for any emergencies on the Korean Peninsula regarding North Korea, Presidential Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Saturday.

The veteran academic and international affairs specialist was speaking at a forum about the “new era of uncertainty in the Asia Pacific” organized by the Taiwan National Security Institute (台灣安保協會).

The recent spate of missile firings and nuclear tests by North Korea witness to a situation where a major crisis could just erupt at a moment’s notice, so Taiwan needs to make the necessary preparations to respond, Wu said.

Any rapid changes in the political situation in East Asia would influence Taiwan because of its special position in the region, he added.

Wu emphasized that the government needed to be closely monitoring all information about the political situation in the area and the implications for the adjacent region, while cooperating to maintain security and stability. Taiwan hoped to lay a sound and secure base for regional peace by safeguarding universal values such as human rights, justice and democracy, according to Wu.

The top presidential official said Taiwan would use its “soft power” to play an important role as a mediator and negotiator on the regional scene.

When reporters asked Wu about Taiwan’s willingness to follow new United Nations sanctions against North Korea, he replied that relevant government departments were currently discussing how to go about this.

Taiwan is not a member of the U.N. and has only limited trade with communist North Korea. The new sanctions include a ban on the export of textiles from the country and a cap on crude oil deliveries at their present level.