[EDITORIALS]Safety is not for politickingSpeaking at his party’s leadership meeting yesterday, the governing Uri Party chairman, Kim Geun-tae, said, “The greed of the conservative force, with its Cold War-era mindset, has finally been revealed.” He was saying that the opposition to Korea’s exercising the wartime operation control is the “start of the project to take presidential power back.”
This sounds familiar indeed. This administration’s people have always talked about the “conservative force with its Cold War-era mindset” whenever they have nothing else to say. Wartime control has nothing to do with any conservative force with a Cold War-era mindset. It’s simply not true. The conservatives are worried about our security. Still, the chairman of the governing party has such a way of thinking, and this provides more clear evidence that the security of this country is indeed in danger.
Mr. Kim also said, “If they think differently, they might return [the wartime command] back [to the United States] after they take the presidential office.” Is he thinking that diplomacy is some sort of a game to play that may be reversed whenever power changes? A slight mistake in the security issue could threaten the safety of the public and the state. Moon Hee-sang, the former Uri chairman, who was with Mr. Kim at the meeting, was right to say, “There must be a premise of the national agreement and the governing and opposition parties need to talk and negotiate on all the issues.” Still, what have the government and the governing party done, in order to achieve a national consensus?
What matters is our security. It’s not a matter of liberal or conservative. Also, it should not be a matter of which parties, governing and opposition, have the advantageous ground on the issue. The point at issue is clear: How prepared South Korea is to be able to solely practice wartime control and when it can complete its preparations. Also, we need to confirm how big a budget may be required and if South Korea is capable of shouldering the cost. Only then can we decide the time to obtain sole command over our forces in wartime.
The Uri Party is avoiding these core issues, busy labeling those who have different ideas as a “conservative force with a Cold War-era mindset.” This is nothing but a treacherous political maneuver. They are plotting to change the public’s concern into an ideological fight. The fence of the country is breaking, but this is all that a governing party chairman has to say. We are at a loss for words.