[EDITORIALS]Parties should stop squabblingThe governing Uri Party and opposition Grand National Party collided from the beginning of the National Assembly investigation of state affairs. They squared off against each other over defense “secrets” and ideological issues.
We had expected that the first state affairs probe of the new 17th Assembly might be different. But like its predecessors, it disappointed us again.
If a lawmaker disclosed a state secret during the questioning process in the Assembly probe, then it is, in principle, wrong.
If he promised the government to keep the secret, then he should do so. But he may disclose the secret if he judges that doing so would serve the public interest. In that case, he would have to assume any legal and political responsibility.
We wonder whether the two released “secrets” are really secrets. Grand National Representative Park Jin quoted a report by the state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses that said Seoul would be overwhelmed by a North Korean artillery barrage within 16 days without U.S. help.
Of course, Mr. Park mentioned the worst scenario and may be criticized for spreading unease among the public. But if that served to make us think over our national security problems again, then it is worth mentioning. We believe it is not right for the Uri Party to say Mr. Park revealed a national secret.
Also, releasing the Chungmu plan does not seem to be a big deal. Grand National Representative Chung Moon-hun at the Assembly probe said under the Chungmu plan South Korea would operate facilities that would hold as many as 200,000 North Korean refugees if North Korea collapsed. That is not a secret but common sense. He also said South Korea’s unification minister would head an emergency agency with powers greater than a governor. That is unrealistic.
Meanwhile, mentioning the issue that a high school history book is ideologically biased is something a lawmaker should do. That should not be a source of political dispute.
The Uri Party’s reaction to such matters, saying that Grand Nationals engaged in spying and an ideological attack, is too much. The Grand Nationals, for their part, should be more careful and responsible.
The Assembly probe should be an opportunity to investigate state affairs to improve the running of the government, not as a place of revelations.