[EDITORIALS]Can the Trash-TalkingWe cannot believe the insulting remarks made at a policy promotion meeting of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party. A lawmaker bombarded the opposition party's president with vulgar words and called a former president "stone head." Though we have heard abusive remarks made by politicians many times, we are amazed at the level of rudeness in going that far.
Lawmaker Ahn Dong-seon, who has made many insulting remarks, has run for four terms and is a member of the MDP's Supreme Council. As one of the leaders in our society, he needs to maintain the dignity that accompanies his position. Yet instead of ennobling himself, he harshly criticized the opposition leader, saying, "Everyone cried when separated families from the South and the North reunited, but only one person [a vulgarity used here] did not cry." We are extremely afraid that our children might learn such abusive words.
Mr. Ahn focused his verbal attacks on Lee Hoi-chang, the opposition party leader. Mr. Ahn said that the pro-Japanese lived in splendor for three generations and that Mr. Lee could not have come to the National Liberation Day ceremony because he was ashamed. By making such remarks, Mr. Ahn touched the unconfirmed issue of Mr. Lee's father being pro-Japanese in the past. Mr. Ahn also said sarcastically "I am not sure how his father educated Mr. Lee since he had never praised President Kim's work." This shows no logic or even minimal courtesy.
His abusive words poured cold water on the planned summit of the ruling and opposition parties, which President Kim suggested in his address in celebration of National Liberation Day. The opposition party demanded that President Kim make an apology and that Mr. Ahn step down. As soon as the president proposed a summit, a ruling party lawmaker insulted the opposition leader at an official event raising suspicion over the proposal's sincerity.
Although Mr. Ahn admitted that he went too far, he seemed to regret nothing else. The ruling party tried to cover up the matter, arguing that the party holds no responsibility. Mr. Ahn and the ruling party should make a sincere apology and come up with a tangible measure to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents.