[EDITORIALS]What’s the security plan?

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[EDITORIALS]What’s the security plan?

The Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command and the United Nations Command, which have been stationed in Yongsan, will move completely to the south of the Han River by the end of 2007.
Within four years, the presence of U.S. troops will no longer be found in Seoul. Although the National Assembly protested the agreement between the U.S. and Korean governments to move the U.S. troops to the south on financial and security grounds, the transfer is an established fact.
In the past, we have insisted that the relocation of U.S. troops and the transfer of the Yongsan facility should be conducted on a scope we can handle, not only to restrain the threat from North Korea but also considering military strategy and the financial burden.
Especially, we have considered the possible negative impact on foreign companies in Korea and on investment, as well as the public’s security anxiety.
The safety apparatus known as the U.S. military will now be removed. Our country’s security is now literally our own responsibility. We ask once again if our government has actually thought about the nation’s security.
The government has the obligation to resolve the public’s anxiety with a plan in the absence of U.S. forces. There is no time to discuss how to utilize the vacant Yongsan facilities in a leisurely manner. The government should first think about what it should do to ease the public’s concern about security.
What are the countermeasures in the absence of U.S. troops, and do we have the ability to cope with the absence? The government should answer these questions publicly.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless, who heads the U.S. negotiators, said that relocating the joint command is an effort to restrain the threat from North Korea and establish a defensive position.
Why would the U.S. military say such a thing when it is planning to withdraw from Seoul? And what does it mean that the United States has made its strategic decision? We must say that the U.S. military makes its soldiers’ safety the top priority, and not the safety of Korean soldiers.
The government should not simply shrug off the public’s concern.
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