Anarchy in the republicDowntown Seoul was a transformed into a landscape of carnage two nights ago. The streets were filled with iron pipes and police batons. Stones, fire extinguishers and other projectiles had been thrown in anger. Hundreds of people on both sides were injured.
How have we arrived at such a pathetic situation?
We have a question for those leading these increasingly violent rallies. Are they really trying to end the candlelight protests or wage a street war?
What are they really trying to achieve?
Some vehicles loaded with potential weapons were discovered on the streets the day before yesterday. Protesters smashed up police buses and fire trucks with iron pipes and hammers. They indiscriminately surrounded and beat up police officers. Some were even dragged out of their buses.
One source from the national police agency said, “There is no such country where the police get beaten up so badly.”
As a nation, we have entered into a nightmare of lawlessness and anarchy. The government announced emergency countermeasures yesterday, but we are simply aghast to see the government fussing around after the event.
However, even though belated, government action should go some way to bringing order to the city.
In our view, the government should respond strongly to the violent protests pursuant to laws and regulations. It should not renege on its pledge to take the more radical leaders of the protests into custody for initiating the violence.
Ordinary members of the public are not leading these recent rallies. Rather, a few extremists are at the forefront of the action.
The overseas media are reporting that the violence has been ignited by radicals. Asahi Shimbun reported, “Some anti-government protesters in Seoul turned extremely violent.” The Japanese newspaper also referred to a “mob of rioters.”
Illegal violent protests must stop. That is what the vast majority of the Korean people are hoping for. If the leaders of the demonstrations continue this crisis, they will be leading this nation into catastrophe.
Such a lawless world should no longer exist. It is now time for the government to act in accordance with the situation.
The administration should not hesitate to strictly implement the law and prove that it and public authority are still alive, despite what we have seen on the streets of the capital in the past few days.