[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Buan riots must be stopped

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Buan riots must be stopped

The recent article “Doctor asks Buan residents to curb attacks on police” by Lim Mi-jin (Nov. 27) illustrated the sad situation after the recent violent clashes between riot police and residents in Buan county, North Jeolla province.
Why did residents have to use violence against police officers?
The violent clashes happened in Buan because people living in that area opposed the government’s plan to build a nuclear waste disposal facility in that area.
The doctor at a police hospital asked the Buan civilians not to hit police officers with steel pipes. He said it took two hours and nearly 50 stitches for him to close one riot police officer’s wound.
Riot police in Korea are ordinary people serving in a police job instead of military service. They are just doing the job the government told them to do. This is a tragedy in Korea.
These violent clashes happened because the Korean government didn’t respond when the residents in Buan county had several peaceful demonstrations. Why does the Korean government respond only to violent protests? In the past, Korean administrations did not respond properly when the protests were peaceful. If the government can react quickly when there is a peaceful demonstration and if the protesters can wait for the response patiently, this kind of violent incident will not happen in Korea any more.

by Samuel Kim
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