[EDITORIALS]Do we have time for this?

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[EDITORIALS]Do we have time for this?

Lately, controversy over alleged military service evasion seems to have grabbed the political headlines, pushing aside urgent national affairs. The political parties are spending day and night raising suspicions and going on the defense, as they focus on the allegation that the son of the Grand National Party's presidential candidate, Lee Hoi-chang, has avoided military service. The volley of words charged with emotion demonstrate crudeness and cruelty. Of course, such matters concerning the morality of a presidential candidate must be cleared up, but the attitudes and the reactions of the parties cannot be justified.

This controversy could act as a winning ticket for the Millennium Democratic Party, which could exploit it in the by-elections on Thursday and the presidential election in December. There have been analyses that suggest political gains from emphasizing this issue. It is pitiful to watch the former ruling party trying to use this issue as material for their smear campaign against the opposition in the coming elections. The GNP's reaction is no better than the MDP's. The GNP might be humiliated and its political losses might be tremendous, but they must react more firmly. Their obsequious behavior in visiting the prosecution has brought more doubts among the public and charges of insolence.

To be frank, there is a huge defect in Korean politics, since this is the second time the opposition is being shaken. If this was such a serious issue, why was it not resolved five years ago? However, whatever the reason, both parties must wait, since the prosecution has already decided to investigate this case.

It is inappropriate for the two parties to argue over this matter day in and day out. Alarms are going off in exchange rates, balance of payments, the stock market, the environment and countless other issues that need attention.

The GNP is trying to refute every comment made by the MDP as if not doing so would be admitting wrongdoing, and the latter is responding by accepting the doubts as indicative that something is indeed wrong. The case lies in the hands of the prosecution. The political parties, especially the GNP, should stay out of the procedures. If their position is indeed honorable, they should let the situation turn on the facts, and spend time trying to solve other pending political issues.
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