[EDITORIALS]Time for serious security stepsThe tragic incident in Iraq in which an innocent Korean, Kim Sun-il, fell victim to terrorists, could be a signal that Korea has become a major target of resistance forces there. The group that killed Mr. Kim has warned strongly against the deployment of Korean troops in Iraq, but the Korean government has refused to comply with their demand determinedly. Now, it is unavoidable that tension will rise between the two sides.
It implies that not only the possibility of recurrence of similar incidents, but also the possibility of terror attacks on our troops deployed there is heightened. The government should, with extraordinary determination, provide thorough anti-terror measures so that the possibility of 2d and 3d incidents are eliminated.
When we look back on what the government has done up untill the moment Mr. Kim was killed, we cannot but feel uneasy. We are greatly disappointed at our government’s limited intelligence gathering capacity and lack of negotiation skills. Untill now, it does not even grasp when Mr. Kim was kidnapped.
At media reports that the date of the kidnapping was not June 17 as was reported to the Korean embassy there, but an unknown date after May 31, the government only repeats the same answer, “We are trying to confirm the exact date.”
Koreans staying in Baghdad for business or news coverage purposes are said to be about 30 in number only. After the dispatch of troops to Iraq was confirmed, it should have become one of the major tasks of the Korean embassy to confirm the safety of these people.
It is regrettable, but the Korean government has even failed to confirm the process of incident from Mr. Kim’s disappearance to his death. The government must verify the truth related to the following; whether our embassy there acknowledged Mr Kim’s disappearance; if it did, when was it and what actions did it take; and, whether it communicated the information with the U.S. forces there.
At the same time, the government must prepare a much more complete plan so that it can prevent recurrence of similar incidents. It can be done by supplementing unsatisfactory measures it has taken before.
The government dispatched a negotiating team to Iraq, but the team has even failed to have a deal that can be called a negotiation. It was because the team didn’t know what kind of organization the kidnappers belonged to, where they were and via whom it could approach the group.
We admit that the negotiation was a difficult one because there are diverse resistance forces in Iraq and their demand was a ”cancellation of troop dispatch decision.” It is a problem, however, that the government is still in need of information even more than one year after the issue of troop deployment to Iraq had been raised. Even from now, it has to exert government level effort to collect intelligence on resistance forces in Iraq and establish networks of personal contact with them.
We have to also take measures against the possibility that the train explosion in Spain could happen here. Although assuming the outbreak of such an incident is terrible to imagine, the ruthless killing of Mr. Kim warns us that it is not time for us to wait with folded arms.
Security around important organizations and transportation facilities at home should also be heightened.