A question of loyaltyThe plea by the mother of Sergeant Min Peong-gi, who died when the warship Cheonan sank, is heartbreaking. In a letter to President Lee Myung-bak, she wrote, “I am a guilty mom who couldn’t even keep a son.” But it is we who should feel guilt. We have forgotten the harsh reality of military confrontation with North Korea because we have been wrapped up in our own complacency and negligence. We have taken our security for granted and even exploited it as a means of political bickering.
During an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, Min’s mother shed tears and lashed out at the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, which sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council questioning the government’s probe into the sinking of the ship. “Only insane people would do that,” she said. She reportedly donated 100 million won ($82,493) “to prevent another incident like that.”
But the pro-North Korea forces here have renewed their struggle against the government to accelerate our internal division. Another leftist civic group called Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea sent its own letter to the UN Security Council, inviting outrage from the families of the 46 dead sailors, who said that their action befit a spokesperson for North Korea.
Of course, freedom of speech should be respected, and we believe that an application of the National Security Law would be too much in this case. However, it is clear that the Cheonan sank due to a North Korean torpedo attack. Instead of resorting to military retaliation against the North, our government sought international sanctions. Yet, if leftist groups try to hamper the government’s efforts, posing as advocates for the perpetrator, it is nothing less than a traitorous act that goes beyond the realm of free speech.
More deplorable seems to be the opposition camp’s attitude. Democratic Party Chairman Chung Sye-kyun sided with the PSPD by saying, “It is a civic group’s job to criticize the government’s agenda. It would be too much if the government were to raise doubts about their identity.” Bipartisanship on matters of diplomacy and security has been the rule for many decades here. The DP should adhere to that and ask the NGOs to fall in line. Its move to incite such unfathomable behavior is baffling.
Almost three months have passed since the tragic incident occurred. Many countries have made statements denouncing North Korea. Still, the opposition party hesitates to adopt an anti-North resolution in the National Assembly. Which country does it belong to anyway? When it comes to national security, one should not follow partisan interests. We strongly urge the opposition party to adopt a resolution immediately and put the rumors to bed.