[EDITORIALS]No future for usThe situation surrounding the National Security Law candidly reveals the level and capacity of our society. Instead of trying to unfold the discussion, on which the future of the society depends, in a reasonable and intelligent way, people are busy siding, slandering and using invective. If things go on like this, there is no future for us.
On the security law, public opinion is divided between keeping the law, revising it, introducing an alternative law or abolishing it. As people went through different personal and social experiences in the turbulent political situation after liberation, the scope of opinion is wide. And there are ample reasons behind each opinion. It is both true that the security law was misused as a tool for supressing anti-government figures and had the positive function of preventing attempts to overthrow the republic. To say only one is right is nothing but agitation.
It is hopeless behavior to use invective against the Grand Nationals or senior conservative leaders who advocate revising or leaving the law intact. Talk of “the last-minute raving of conservative nuts, who enjoyed benefits under the dictatorships, to keep their vested interests” does not help. It is also a problem that people criticize those who advocate abolition or adoption of a subsitutute law as “trying to overthrow the constitutional order and national security by aligning with the Kim Jong-il regime.” If both sides see each other as objects to be overthrown, will there be any chance for a dialogue and negotiations? There will only remain a struggle of life or death. We have to admit that the opinion of the other side is also aimed at the future of the nation, and there are only differences in views and methods. More urgent than establishing trust between the North and the South is establishing trust among people here.
Beopjang, the executive chief of the Buddhist Chogye Order, said, “However good it might be, if it is denied by the majority, it is no longer good.” Paik Do-woong, secretary general of the National Council of Churches, said, “Although the law must be abolished, it is not a responsible attitude to push ahead hurriedly, disregarding people’s uneasiness.” Keeping the law does not guarantee national security, nor will Korea become a human rights paradise, if the law is abolished. We have to get rid of extreme, emotional confrontation. We can find a common point, if we see things with a pragmatic point of view.