Wait for the truthThe attempts by politicians to raise suspicions about the sinking of the naval ship Cheonan goes well beyond common sense. Without any grounds, they are acting irresponsible in encouraging the public’s distrust of the military. Rather than helping to find the exact cause of the tragic incident, they are tearing apart the already-broken hearts of the families of the missing soldiers.
Lee Kang-rae, the floor leader of the opposition Democratic Party, said the other day, “Everyone believes the military is trying to cover something up,” suggesting that people do not believe the words spoken by the surviving soldiers at their first press conference two days ago.
This is an insult to the survivors, who risked their lives to protect our country.
Park Jie-won, chairman of the DP Policy Committee, went one step further, referring to the press conference as an effort to fabricate a story about what really happened. Pointing at the survivors’ bandages, he argued that it was a ruse to make the survivors look like patients.
But he showed an almost limitless affection for and trust in the North Korean military. Saying “The possibility of a North Korean attack is very low,” Park argued that the National Economic Cooperation Federation, North Korea’s official conduit for economic exchange with the South, was dumbfounded by the idea that the North could be behind the incident.
The politicians even ignored the results of a joint investigation conducted by the military and a civilian team. At the press conference, one of the crew members affirmed that he didn’t hang up his cell phone at 9:16 p.m., saying that he couldn’t because of the “emergency situation.”
Still, DP lawmaker Lee Jong-ku, who was the first to raise questions about the exact timing of the explosion, argues that he has the facts to back up his theory about the timing and that the Defense Ministry cannot be trusted. This in turn raises the suspicion that he is creating more confusion rather than seeking the truth.
Moreover, DP spokesman Woo Sang-ho has demanded that the survivors be put through an investigation, rather than merely being subject to questioning. He is dealing with the survivors as if they are criminals, and in this context such a demand is essentially equivalent to defamation of the Navy. Of course, his agitation is understandable. But it would have been much better if he had tried to find the cause of the incident based on concrete evidence.
In a crisis, it is a politician’s job to seek unity. Now, the incident is being investigated by the international community, which means our military will be unable to manipulate the truth. The job politicians have now is to wait calmly until the investigation results come in.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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