[EDITORIALS]Tragedy should not deter usThe peninsula is in shock as video footage showing Kim Sun-il being threatened with execution became public on Sunday. He was kidnapped by Islamic militants while working for a company that supplies U. S. forces in Iraq. The Islamic militant group that kidnapped Mr. Kim is said to have ties with al Zarqawi, the group involved in the recent beheading of an American. This group has delivered an ultimatum to our government, threatening to behead Mr. Kim if it does not pull out troops in Iraq within 24 hours. It also demanded that the decision to send additional troops to Iraq be reversed. In order to avoid a tragedy, our government needs to react quickly and come up with appropriate measures.
Judging from previous cases in which citizens from countries that have dispatched troops to Iraq were killed, there is a high possibility that the militants will make good on their threat. The fact that they kidnapped a Korean citizen right after the announcement to dispatch additional troops was made is very worrisome. It’s very likely that this was a sophisticated operation aimed at landing a blow to our morale and creating a breach between U.S. forces and the coalition.
Our government must immediately contact the interim Iraqi government and the various party leaders so that Mr. Kim’s life can be saved. In addition, to prevent any similar events, the government needs to establish an emergency security network for Korean citizens living and working in the Middle East. Because of previous cases in which Korean citizens have been kidnapped briefly and even shot to death, isn’t it time to act?
As the government announced the dispatch of additional forces, it cited worries about civilian casualties. But it is hard for the government to escape criticism that it has been sitting idle for too long.
Even with this unfortunate incident our troop dispatch should go forward as planned. The troop dispatch was a decision taken after a long debate because we saw that it would benefit our country. Our government and the people should not waver even an inch from our decision. We have to keep our promise so that we can gain all the benefits that come from such a move into an international environment. The troop dispatch will keep our pride and honor.