How many more must suffer?

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How many more must suffer?

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In China, corruption scandals involving bureaucrats are so common that they no longer make waves. But something bizarre happened there recently. On Saturday, a Mr. Lin, a secretary with the discipline and inspection committee of the local party in Lungmen, Pubei Prefecture, Guangxi Province, came to his office drunk in the middle of the day. When he entered the office, there were four women working and he started making jokes that were so dirty that two of the women left. The two who stayed were treated to a show when Lin dropped his pants, leaving him bare naked from the waist down. He only stopped what he was doing when a staff member from the office next door intervened.

The subsequent investigation into the incident revealed that Lin regularly abuses his power by putting it on display. The stain he cast on the committee was exacerbated by the fact that it is the highest authority on corruption involving party members.

There was an even more terrible incident of sexual harassment in Pattong, Hubei Province - a murder case involving Deng Gweida, a member of the party’s discipline and inspection committee and a former gangster. Deng worked for the Sangwan District legal committee in Pattong and was later promoted to the discipline and inspection committee.

One day, he went to a sauna and demanded “special service” from a female worker named Deng (no relation). When she refused to comply with his demand, he beat her. She had a knife and used it to defend herself but ended up killing him. It was a clear case of self-defense, but the police arrested her on murder charges. When Internet users heard about the case, they rallied behind her. University professors and government officials also lent their support and in an instant, all of China was united behind a campaign to get her acquitted.

There is yet another example. Jung Jenchu, director of the Sichuan Province audit and inspection bureau, the symbol of cleanliness and prestige for the government, was arrested on charges of sexual harassment. When he was charged, he responded nonchalantly, saying, “Why such a fuss over the fact that I had a woman sit beside me for a while?” A local newspaper reported that “it was a symbolic remark showing how serious the problem of sexual harassment within the government is.” Another paper lamented that “the People’s Republic of China has become the People’s Republic of Sex.”

What about Korea? Are we free from such worries? In addition to Cho Du-sun, who was convicted for raping an 8-year-old girl, and Kim Kil-tae, who is on trial for raping and murdering a 13-year-old girl, we now have Kim Su-cheol, who walked into an elementary school, kidnapped an 8-year-old girl and raped her.

We must do something to stop these crimes against our children. With so many of our young girls affected, we can no longer afford to wait.

The writer is the chief of an investigative reporting team of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Jin Se-keun
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