[EDITORIALS]Strengthen our securityRecently, a top official of the Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunification (PKAR), a man known as Mr. Woo who participated in the June 15th Grand Celebration for National Reunification, was caught in an attempt to secretly hand over a document “swearing allegiance to the North Korean regime” to a North Korean agent.
It was a shocking incident. A former spy for the South, Mr. Woo claimed in the document that he had “not switched allegiance” but had “been living as a warrior for the dear leader” and begged for a chance to serve the North.
This administration has allowed members of organizations such as the PKAR, which is officially classified as a “pro-enemy organization,” to actively go back and forth between North and South Korea, under the guise of “civilian exchanges between North and South Korea.” It even got to the point where PKAR spies based in Japan were allowed to enter South Korea for the June 15th event.
These people frequently visited North Korea, giving various reasons such as preparing for the June 15th festival or watching North Korea’s Arirang shows. What they said and did while in the North, however, is apparently beyond the interest of the current South Korean administration.
National security officials must not only conduct a thorough investigation of the Woo episode, they must also carefully search for any similar cases.
The major responsibility for this dire state of affairs lies with the current South Korean administration, which has relentlessly pursued its agenda of reducing the scope and depth of national security within the Korean government. It has come to the point where people are saying ― and believing ― that, “It’s not that the government can’t capture spies ― it’s simply that they won’t.”
Now, the government needs to fundamentally change its stance towards national security. More than anything else, “cold shoulder national security policies” cannot be allowed to continue. The absurd logic that a person can participate in an event not as a member of a group, but as an “individual,” even when that particular group is officially deemed “pro-enemy,” must be completely disposed of.
The organizers of the festival must also go beyond merely saying that they were not “directly involved” ― they must find other means, such as banning members of pro-enemy organizations, to stop this from happening again.