[EDITORIALS]The people don’t want repeal

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[EDITORIALS]The people don’t want repeal

We have reported that activities that disrupt the national order might not be punishable under the Uri Party’s plan to abolish the National Security Law and reinforce the criminal code in its place. In a survey we conducted yesterday, 80 percent of the respondents said that the 13 disruptive activities we expected not to be punishable under the Uri plan should, in fact, be punished.
Seventy-two percent said that such a relatively minor act as “waving a North Korean flag in Gwanghwamun” should be punished. Furthermore, a different opinion poll shows that 62 percent of the public is opposed to the abolition of the security law.
The public’s opinion was made clear again by the polls. The people want the legal system to guarantee the security of the nation in a situation in which the North and South still confront each other. The president and those in his administration should listen to them.
We do not understand why the administration, which has repeatedly said, “We will respect public opinion,” is trying to go against the public. The administration should re-design its proposal so as to guarantee national security and alleviate the public’s concern.
Prosecutor-general Song Kwang-soo also said yesterday that “a kind of security law” is necessary for the sake of national security. The governing party should understand why the top prosecutor said this.
As we have argued, we believe a legal system, whether it is the current security law or another under a different name, is necessary for national security. Clauses in the law should be polished enough that they can be applied clearly. But with the Uri draft, controversy over the application of the law is likely; for example, the “rebellion” clause newly added to the criminal code is ambiguous and open to interpretation.
The Uri Party claims that the ambiguous new clauses will suffice to control anti-state activities. But we believe the party should have formulated these clauses so that they can be clear about punishment. The clauses that are subject to misinterpretation may only confuse the public. The governing party should be reminded of the fact that a law designed to control the political activities of university students under the Chun Doo Hwan regime was canceled because it ran against the public opinion of the time.
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