[VIEWPOINT]A surprise attack that scares all of us

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[VIEWPOINT]A surprise attack that scares all of us

Grand National Party chairwoman Park Geun-hye was attacked by an assailant with a box cutter in broad daylight.
An Austrian animal ethologist, Konrad Lorenz, has said that aggression was human nature.
According to Lorenz, humans are more cruel and aggressive than any other animal. However, the attack against Ms. Park was not an incident caused by the uncontrollable instinct of a ruined man. Instead, as more information gradually becomes available, it seems to have been a planned assault.
According to the initial investigation conducted by the police-prosecutors joint investigation headquarters, Ji Chung-ho, the suspect, personally visited the office of Oh Se-hoon, the Grand National Party’s mayoral candidate for Seoul, before the attack and confirmed the campaign schedule of Ms. Park.
He returned to Incheon and then came to the rally in front of Hyundai Department Store in Sinchon, Seoul.
He did not happen to stroll around the location or buy the box cutter coincidentally. And he did not dart at her and slash her face in a rage. It was a planned crime.
Also, Mr. Ji is not an ignorant, unintelligent person. Released from prison in August 2005, he has become notorious as a regular petitioner in the National Human Rights Commission.
While imprisoned in Cheongsong 1st correctional institute from March to April 2002, he filed 13 petitions to the Human Rights Commission.
However, the commission’s investigation concluded there was no evidence that Mr. Ji’s personal rights had been infringed at the institution.
Instead, some Human Rights Commission sources said Mr. Ji knew how to exploit the law and the system intelligently, irritating the warden first and then filing a petition claiming mistreatment.
Because of that reputation, his justification of the attack, “for the sake of democracy,” sounds like a calculated comment to draw sympathy from the social sectors that could provide shelter for him.
After all, Mr. Ji is not some dull-witted ignoramus who committed the crime by chance.
He was capable of planning the attack, calculating the consequences and justifying himself with calculated comments.
We still don’t know what lies behind his calculations.
Generally, the string-puller of terrorism is rarely revealed. However, the scar of terror remains deep.
The attack left a scar not just on the face of Ms. Park, but also in the hearts of us all.
Once a terror attack is carried out, everyone who witnessed the scene or heard the news is seized by fear.
Even those who write or speak publicly, not to mention the politicians, feel the internal fear that there can be a terror attack on them anytime, anywhere.
The fear might be what the terrorists are seeking.
Terrorism sneers at panic and shuddering.
Therefore, we must not tolerate the dark sneer of terrorism. Instead, we should terrorize that very jeer.
We should subdue terrorism with undaunted bright smiles and positive perspectives but not with knives, guns and bombs.
The damage to the May 31 election is enormous.
Or should we say the terror attack is the ultimate feature of Korean politics in a quagmire.
Terrorism derives from the absence of rules in politics.
For some time, politics has reminded us of hatred, disregard and disparagement.
Looking at the downfall of politics, the citizens could not even hope for the next best alternative, much less the best.
Just when the people are looking to avoid the worst and trying to get satisfied with the next worst from politics, the worst came in the form of the assault.
Terrorism is an all-out denial of the opponent.
The dark trick of terrorism grows in a society where you can only affirm your existence by disavowing others.
After all, the attack on Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye in the light of day offers a twisted portrait of Korean society as it is.
Now, not just the politicians but all the members of this society need to poignantly reflect on ourselves and contemplate how to implement true democracy in Korea, consisting of open communication and fair competition.

* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.


by Chung Jin-hong
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