[EDITORIALS]Troops bill must be priority

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[EDITORIALS]Troops bill must be priority

The bill to extend South Korean troops’ mission in Iraq for one more year did not come up for a vote during the last day of the National Assembly session. In this process, the behavior of the Uri Party and the Grand National Party can be seen as the epitome of cunning intrigue. Without considering national interest, the parties solely focused on political maneuvering. How can we leave our country in the hands of such politicians?
The foremost responsibility lies with the Uri Party. The leadership of the governing party claimed that the Grand National Party did not abide by its promise to vote on the bill, but this is just passing the buck.
President Roh Moo-hyun did not even ask for cooperation from the opposition parties. Even though 60 members of the governing party voted against the dispatch bill, neither the Blue House nor the leadership of the Uri Party showed any efforts of changing their minds.
The president even visited the Zayituun unit in Irbil, Iraq, this week, and yet the governing party is against the extension of the troop deployment. Uri Party officials were complacent, hoping that the opposition would pass the bill to extend the troops’ mission.
No one wants to send our youths into a danger. However, for the sake of the national interest, the Assembly voted for the troops’ dispatch. And yet the Uri Party, which is responsible for running the country, showed an ambiguous attitude on the Assembly vote on an extention bill ― as it did on the dispatch bill last year.
The behavior of the Grand National Party is also a problem. They claim they will focus on security and the economy, yet at the last moment, they refused to take a responsible position on the mission extension. The Grand Nationals ask, “How can we be proactive [about the bill] when the governing party is passive?”
Moreover, the opposition cooperated with the Uri Party in passing the new Fair Trade Act, which was fervently opposed by the business sector. The Grand National Party does not have the right to criticize the administration’s security and economic policies.
The bill to extend the troop dispatch must be passed this year so there won’t be any setbacks. The Blue House and the governing party must show some sincerity and enthusiasm in trying to persuade the opposition within their ranks, and the opposition party must cooperate for a win-win situation.
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