[GLOBAL EYE]Stop the blame gameIt is chaotic. It is frivolous. This is what our society looks like these days. Leaders, politicians, the media and civic groups are all awkward and shallow. To put it nicely, they are overly dynamic. They just rush about wildly without even trying to know where they are going.
But we have seen our status and limitations in recent incidents. Through the murder of Kim Sun-il, we confirmed how improperly our national system works. In a touching letter to cherish the memory of Mr. Kim, an elementary school student wrote, “I didn’t know that our country was so weak.” We all should mull over this message before it is too late.
Concerning the troop deployment to Iraq and the Korea-U.S. alliance, politicians and civic groups are moving about and shouting in crowds, but their logic is not clear. It may be easy to shake the people, but their actions or slogans do not contain any strategic thinking. Please look at ourselves from the outside. Let’s soberly examine where we are in the world and whether we have the wisdom and economic capability to cope with the coming challenges.
Japan’s Self Defense Forces celebrated the 50th anniversary of their formation. In terms of defense expenditures, Japan is the fifth largest military power. The Self Defense Forces’ radius of action has long reached out of the Japanese archipelago. Some say we still have a score to settle with Japan, but the international community in general regards its peacekeeping activity approvingly.
Moreover, we worked with the Self Defense Forces in East Timor under the flag of the United Nations. In this situation, Korea was a simplistic society where a politician who was invited to the reception for the anniversary was attacked by the media’s “words of terror.” So experts who can understand Japan and talk about strategy remain silent. They don’t want to be “lynched” indiscriminately by the emotional media.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry has made quiet strategic efforts to secure the status of a permanent member of the UN Security Council for more than 20 years. But by saying that the next UN secretary general is ours, we put words before actions in our diplomacy.
At a time when the Korea-U.S. alliance of over half a century is beginning to collapse on the Korean Peninsula, some novice politicians say that they will find hope in China. Their habit of talking about the future without giving a realistic answer to problems will only instigate the people to have illusions.
Have they considered at all the power of surrounding strong countries and the dynamics among them? Who should stop the outrageous actions of those who used to be civil activists outside the National Assembly but stage sit-in demonstrations in the Assembly once they put the golden badge on?
Kim Sun-il’s body was found by the U. S. forces and carried to an airplane of our nationality by a U.S. military aircraft via the U.S. military airport. Mr. Kim worked for a U.S. military supplier but criticized the United States when confronted with death. But to save him, our government turned to the United States first of all.
Although about 40,000 American youths lost their lives in the Korean War, our distorted reality is that half of the new students at the military academy believe that South Korea invaded the North in the war. Therefore, Seoul is no longer an object of consideration to Pyeongyang. Pyeongyang is confident that what is left is only to attack Washington. Considering how our society is going, I would draw up such a national strategy if I were in its place.
Interestingly, Chinese people do not easily cut in when we criticize the United States. This is not because they believe Korea will eventually leave the United States to side with them but because they know the reality well that the United States is the country they keenly need.
It is really disgusting to see our people saying in front of the Chinese that Koreans’ hearts are leaving the United States. Those people who do not know where they are and whether they have the ability to overcome challenges in sight, who are slow to grasp the situation, are bound to be ignored anywhere. Now let’s stop blaming others and calmly understand ourselves first.
* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo and director of JoongAng Ilbo Research Institute for Unification Culture.
by Kil Jeong-woo