[EDITORIALS]Broken military proceduresThe recent naval incident in the Yellow Sea was proof enough that we have serious holes in our national security.
The red signal on reporting procedure, the irresponsible intervention of politicians in the military, the lack of trust not only inside the military but also between the military’s supreme commander and the military itself, all security weak points, have been revealed. The incident has given warning to us that if such a situation persists, our national security might be really be in danger. We need to fix these problems quickly.
First, we have to bring to perfection the defects in the hotline between our naval forces and those of North Korea. The hotline is significant because it can lower the possibility of a clash between our forces and the North’s.
But if the North abuses the hotline, such as, after sending a naval boat, saying it a fishing boat, there is no use in having the hotline. Our government has to make sure that the hotline cannot be abused for disturbing the other side.
What is most urgent is making sure that the Blue House, top military brass and officers on the frontline have common understanding on the hotline and the reason why the Northern Limit Line must be observed. The recent incident showed that the Blue House and the military had different views; the Blue House emphasized the hotline’s reporting function while the military stressed protecting the Northern Limit Line. The incident also showed the need to repair the military reporting system.
A commander in the field should never again be allowed to decide that he will not pass on an important report to his superiors.
The loss of trust among the military leadership also has reached a point that cannot be left alone anymore.
A bit of gallows humor making the rounds in the armed forces reflects their low morale; officers joke that either protecting the Northern Limit Line or failing to do so can hurt you. The government needs to understand clearly the grave situation and make thorough preparations with plans to make up for loopholes in overall security posture.
The current operational procedures that require a warning and then warning shots have to be aligned with the hotline procedures.
We do not need, now or in the future, politicians who try to please the Blue House by making comments that only lower the morale of our armed forces.