Defense system overhaulWe must await the final results of a joint investigation by a civilian, military and international team to know who and what exactly caused the explosion and sinking of the Cheonan naval corvette. But all of the circumstantial evidence points to North Korea. The investigation team already said that an explosion resulting from an external shock is the most plausible explanation for the Cheonan’s sinking.
It appears unnecessary to look anywhere else but north. Although we cannot begin debating our next steps before the final results of the investigation are revealed, we should begin considering what our response will be based on the current theories available to us. The team should complete a thorough investigation into the debris and other aspects of the wreckage so that we can determine once and for all who or what was behind the attack.
Meanwhile, we must focus on the more urgent matter of building a comprehensive plan of action based on the probability that North Korea was involved in the attack. We should re-examine the loopholes in our maritime security system, which has been an easy target for North Korea, so we can create an impenetrable wall of defense. Without immediate action, we are susceptible to more attacks from enemy forces.
We must lock out such dangers. North Korea was probably watching us closely as the recent disaster unfolded, the weaknesses of our Navy exposed. We must fix every aspect of our defense so that the North cannot take any advantage. We should also consider building up our naval force and adding new armaments.
The defense leadership, which displayed its incompetence during the recent tragedy, should be replaced and stern measures should be taken against future leaks of confidential military information. We must strengthen our intelligence on North Korea and keep a closer watch on the movements of its military.
Finally, if North Korea is proven to be the culprit, we must take severe punitive action against it. We cannot compromise with an enemy who is threatening our livelihood. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young rightfully said that we must consider all actions, including military and non-military, in our response to the attack. If the North is guilty, we must make it pay for all the pain and all the damage it has caused our people so that it does not dare to take aim at us again.
All of this will be possible only when the entire nation resolves to take firm action against the perpetrators of the explosion.
The Cheonan tragedy is a national security crisis. We must stand united to overcome the dire situation we are facing, just as we emptied our piggy banks to help rebuild the nation after the financial crisis in 1997.