[EDITORIALS]Secrets and politicsThe political dispute over whether the opposition Grand National Party released national defense secrets during a National Assembly hearing is intensifying.
While the governing Uri Party denounces the Grand Nationals, saying they are spies, the Grand Nationals say the Uri Party is simply interfering in the pursuit of Assembly affairs for its own political interests.
We ask the two parties to stop such low-level scuffling right away. It is never beneficial to the national interest and only makes the public angry. We ask them to engage in their required work at the Assembly.
The current problem arose because national security issues, which are important for the public interest, were dealt with from the perspective of parochial party interests. Apart from keenly recognizing the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, the two parties are only opposing and attacking each other, believing that doing so will serve their interests.
The two parties should remind themselves of the fact that such a reactionary political practice will never be welcomed by the public.
Now is the time to find a measure to prevent such a fight from taking place again. We believe certain National Assembly measures regulating the release of defense secrets by lawmakers are necessary.
Providing or revealing defense secrets is strictly regulated by the Military Secret Protection Act, but the act is being applied loosely to lawmakers. First of all, some civil servants did not follow necessary steps specified in the act because they thought lawmakers were different from the general public. For example, they provided defense secrets to the aides of lawmakers who were not qualified to handle secrets. A more important problem is that some lawmakers mentioned the defense secrets in their questioning of state affairs, but argued that they did not disclose any secrets.
Government offices that are involved with the defense secret disclosure issue are not free from blame. The offices so far have tried to equivocate on the issue, probably because they do not want to be bothered with it.
Now, a National Assembly clause that clearly defines how lawmakers should act concerning national or defense secrets will be necessary. A clause defining the punishments for the lawmakers who violate the regulations will be necessary as well.
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