[EDITORIALS]Throw the book at themHanchongryun’s rally inside a military exercise area of the United States Forces in Korea confirms the Supreme Court’s ruling that the university students’ organization gives aid and comfort to the enemy. The group’s actions to interrupt the drills of the U.S. military, which is stationed here for us, is tantamount to helping North Korea, which is still seeking to communize the Korean Peninsula.
Hanchongryun also confirmed that the recent assertions by its leaders that they would change the organization to make it more acceptable to society were a sham. Their protest demonstrates that the administration’s attempts to appease and legalize the organization are just simplistic, and not realistic.
Occupying an armored vehicle in a training area where live fire exercises are being held was a violent act that imperiled the lives of the U.S. soldiers and the protesters themselves. It was lucky that the protesting students were driven away. The consequences could have been serious had U.S. troops not remained calm.
The protesters even burnt a U.S. flag there. After such an incident, how can we ask the USFK to stay here? We hope the new incident will not aggravate U.S.-South Korean relations. Childishness should not imperil those relations.
The government should express its regrets to the U.S. government and to USFK. They should also present better plans for preventing recurrences of such intrusions.
Second, those officials responsible for protecting USFK facilities must be held accountable. Hanchongryun told the police that it would stage a rally, but the police and the government did not do anything to stop it. Why did the government allow a rally by an organization that supports the North’s unification strategies? Minor police officials should not be the ones held responsible. Top security officers must be punished as well.
Third, because the Hanchongryon leadership must be behind the incident, they should be punished severely. Actions threatening national security must not be allowed.