[EDITORIALS]A flexible attitude is needed

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[EDITORIALS]A flexible attitude is needed

The Uri Party put forward four supplementary laws that would close the gap after the abolishment of the National Security Law. Three of them are supplementary clauses to the Criminal Code and the fourth is a substitute law. But the basic position of the party has not changed.
There are traces of consideration for the conservatives’ concerns, and the legal system is more aligned than before. But there are provisions that contradict the position of the Grand National Party. The most typical is whether to consider North Korea an “anti-state organization” or not. If no dramatic turning point is made, it seems that a violent clash among parties is unavoidable.
In fact, both sides could have found a clue to a solution. But the hope was dashed after President Roh Moo-hyun insisted on unconditional abolishment of the law on a radio show. On the opposition’s part, Chairwomen Park Geun-hye once showed a flexible attitude, but her flexibility was stopped and both sides confront each other.
But the parties shouldn’t run against each other like locomotives on a collision course. It is not a matter to be dragged into a political fight. We can find solutions that will allow us to keep both national security and human rights. For that, our approach to the issue must be changed. Those who insist on abolishment must do one thing first. They must admit that the law was necessary under a military confrontation between the North and the South, and that it played a role under such a situation. If people who served their prison terms under the law recognized the role it played, the conservatives would feel relieved.
On the other hand, those who want to retain the law must admit its injurious effect. They must admit that the law was misused as a means of political suppression, sacrificing many people, and they must apologize for that. Then, the minds of those who suffered under the law will be eased.
If both sides take one step back, thinking more of the other side’s position, they can start a dialogue and then find a solution. Now that our national power far outstrips the North’s and the environment of inter-Korean exchanges has changed, we can admit that there is no need to keep a law that is as strict as the one in the past.
It is a matter that can no longer be insisted on stubbornly, either to be abolished or to be kept. That is not a way for the nation.
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