[EDITORIALS]Honor, morale, investigationsWith an investigation in process regarding irregularities in recent promotions to general, the fact that Army Chief of Staff Nam Jae-joon expressed his intention to resign in the midst of the turmoil, is quite shocking. Although Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-woong immediately rejected the resignation, the noise surrounding the incident is not expected to subside easily.
With General Nam resisting to the investigation, stressing that the recent promotions were “fair” and that the Army cooperated fully with the military prosecution, it’s hard to tell how far this incident will go. We are deeply worried that it could tarnish the prestige of the military and damage morale as well.
Irregularities in promotions in the Army have resurfaced and now there is a conflict between the chief of staff and the military prosecution. If we think about our security, the state of our military should not be shaken further; it had already been damaged in July with the Northern Limit Line incident.
First, the military prosecution has to conduct a swift investigation. Already allegations have surfaced that the current investigation was planned in advance in order to get rid of military leaders. Of course, the Blue House and the military prosecution are denying such allegations. Nevertheless, if one considers the negative comments made by General Nam regarding the reforms in the Army, there are a number of things that are not clear.
We need to bring out the truth swiftly. Whether public investigations by issuing search warrants were necessary also needs to be clarified. A strong feeling, that any wrongdoings could be uncovered through a quiet investigation and that open investigation tarnished the honor of the army, is spreading in the military.
The top military leaders, and those who are scheduled to be promoted, need also to show self control before voicing their opinions until the investigation is finished. If they feel they have been wronged, they can tell the investigators. It’s the only way to stop any further problems.
The frequent rifts between military leaders and the governing party are causing public anxiety. The morale of the Army has hit rock bottom. Morale can be upheld by guarding its honor.
Through this incident, corruption inside the military should be wiped out, but measures are also needed that consider the honor of the military.