[EDITORIALS]An ugly phrase returnsThe spokesman of the Grand National Party remarked, improperly, that the administration should “learn a lesson” from the coup in Thailand. He even said the prime minister of Thailand, who lost the support of his people, reminded him of President Roh Moo-hyun in many ways.
When criticism erupted over his remarks, he explained that he had meant that an administration must be supported by the people.
Party spokespersons have often been viewed as more harmful than helpful to their parties. Their duties should not go beyond speaking on behalf of the party about matters regarding the party and simply pointing out others’ wrongdoings. But spokespersons often say illogical things supposedly for the good of their parties, or make improper and provocative remarks so as to make tongues wag.
The recent case is more serious, and more regrettable, than any other.
There have been two coups d’etat in modern Korean history. One was on May 16, 1961; another took place on Dec. 12, 1979.
The administrations born from the coup d’etats did make some achievements that benefited the country. However, it is still a fact that the Constitutional order was violated by the military in order to take power.
Ever since 1979, there have been coup d’etat attempts. There was a plot for a coup during the presidential election season in 1987. In 1993, after President Kim Young-sam disbanded a private organization inside the military which had been notorious for its corruption, worries of a coup d’etat decreased significantly.
But many still feel insecure when they hear the phrase “coup d’etat.” In the midst of political turmoil, extreme right-wingers have been instigating a coup. Although the Grand National Party has gone through a union with other parties, it has its roots in the party that was born from the “12/12 incident,” the coup d’etat of December 12, 1979.
Because the spokeswoman of the party mentioned a coup, people have to wonder whether the coup d’etat still remains in the mentality of the party.
Our society is in chaos due to President Roh’s misrule. There are worries that something terrible might happen inside or outside the country before his tenure ends. When a society is insecure, it should then try to find democratic, normal and reasonable ways to resolve problems. This is why a remark that the spokesperson said indiscreetly cannot be ignored.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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