[FOUNTAIN]Discord nears climaxSay you and your friends go on a blind date together. Just when you see that one of the girls, or boys, is less than attractive, you have an ill omen that you might be paired with the least charming one. The second before the partners are announced, you think, “Oh, daeryak nangpae.” You would say, daeryak nangpae, when you see the situation and sense trouble. A few years ago, the expression was frequently used online among teenagers, but these days, we can often hear people saying it regarding daily life. “Daeryak” means to approximate. How about “nangpae?” You are wrong to think it is somewhat similar to “silpae,” meaning failure.
Both “nang” and “pae” are imaginary animals. They resemble wolves, but “nang” has no, or very short, hind legs, and “pae” has no, or very short, front legs. If “nang” and “pae” were to walk, “pae” should always put its upper body on the back of “nang.” If they are separated, they will both stumble. They need to be good friends to keep themselves from falling. The expression, “nangpae” first appeared in “Antholo-gy” compiled by Prince Somyeong. In the Jin Dynasty, the king wished to assign Li Mi to an important government position. Li Mi wrote a poem, “If I accept the offer, I cannot take care of my aging grandmother. If I care for my grandmother, I will be going against the king’s order. My course of action truly seems ‘nangpae.’” Upon reading the poem, the king gave up the plan to appoint Li Mi.
Although “nang” and “pae” coexist on good terms, they sometimes have a disagreement and get into a serious dispute. Then, neither “nang” nor “pae” can walk or hunt, and both are bound to starve to death. “Nangpae” refers to a situation where estranged “nang” and “pae” are in trouble and can not do anything.
Regarding the issuance of warrants, the discord between the prosecution and the court is approaching a climax. How about we rewrite the story by replacing “nang” with the prosecution and “pae” with the court? The prosecution and the court have completely different characters. The prosecution acts while the court judges. When a warrant is being issued, the prosecution always gets help from the court. The prosecution and the court can live together by helping each other, but when they have a disagreement, there arises serious discord. Then, the prosecution and the court can neither execute a warrant nor arrest a criminal. When they cannot fulfill their duties, they are criticized for being useless. “Nangpae” refers to a predicament where the prosecution and the court fall out from each other and can do nothing.
*The writer is a deputy business news editor
at the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Yi Jung-jae