[EDITORIALS]What foul-mouthed fury

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[EDITORIALS]What foul-mouthed fury

The scuffle Tuesday between a Grand National Party legislator, Ha Soon-bong, and Chun Yong-taek of the Millennium Democratic Party at the National Assembly's National Defense Committee showed all the foulness and coarseness that exists in the National Assembly. The scene was more befitting street vandals. The contorted faces, profanity that would make the average street bully blush, shoving and encouragement by those around them seemed like a scene out of a comedy.

Those who saw that night's evening news must have laughed at the scene before sobering to the thought that our legislators behave no better than gangsters.

This was the self-portrait of a political community that has abandoned all dignity and duty as representatives of the people to engage in a life-or-death struggle for the presidency.

The fight between the two men started when Mr. Ha accused Mr. Chun of "bringing crooks like Kim Dae-eop to join the investigation" of whether certain high-profile figures bribed military authorities to have family members exempted from military service. The son of Lee Hoi-chang, the GNP's presidential candidate, is also under investigation on allegations of dodging the draft.

Mr. Chun said that Lee Hoi-chang was "nothing much" and that it was the Grand Nationals who were the "dirty ones." The exchange of words that followed between the two men included phrases like, "I'll immigrate if Lee Hoi-chang becomes president," uttered by Mr. Chun, and "You're the lowest kind of human being alive," spoken by Mr. Ha. At one point, Mr. Chun raised his plastic water bottle as if to strike Mr. Ha, and Mr. Ha reacted by raising his glass in a threatening motion in return. If this is a prelude to the presidential election, we are in for a real show in December.

This was not the first time the two men have come under censure for their harsh words.

Should the National Assembly inspections continue in this manner, it would be a waste of time. The two men must be disciplined for the contemptible behavior they showed Tuesday. Their discipline is imperative if the inspections are to go on smoothly. The two parties must also apologize to the public for the incident.
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