Unvarnishing the truthYesterday the major opposition Democratic Party submitted to the National Assembly a request for a parliamentary investigation into the Cheonan incident. Considering the grave security situation facing the Korean Peninsula and the unjustified loss of 46 soldiers from the sinking of our warship, all necessary measures to resolve this matter should be undertaken. However, the opposition politicians’ approach to the Cheonan incident is far more troubling. It is deplorable that they seem to be exploiting the Cheonan incident for their own benefit as much as possible.
Why and how our naval patrol ship was attacked and went down were clearly proven by the joint military, civilian and international investigation team. Although certain radical groups still propagate their distorted views on the tragedy for the sake of discrediting the current administration, the general public does not doubt that the disaster was caused by a torpedo attack from a North Korean vessel. Furthermore, lawmakers already established a special fact-finding committee on the sinking and wrapped up their investigation. If some lawmakers still want to invoke their parliamentary right to investigate what has already been proven through the government’s investigation, we cannot help but wonder about their motives.
Of course, as long as there are people who doubt the veracity of the government-led investigation, legislators’ attempts to dispel suspicion are desirable for the health of our society. But their earlier activity at the provisional committee has not been helpful at all in finding out the so-called “truth” behind the incident.
We are facing a grave moment in which the Cheonan incident is being debated at the United Nations Security Council. If we were to go back to the beginning and raise all the unnecessary suspicions again through political bickering, it would amount to a kind of self-debilitating behavior that begs the international community to not impose sanctions against the perpetrator of the attack. That would almost be the same as siding with North Korea.
Now both the ruling and opposition parties are tied up with preparations for their national conventions. Re-elections and by-elections are also scheduled to be held on the 28th of this month. Under these circumstances, angling for political advantage will take precedence over any “fact-finding” activities. At this sensitive time, the opposition party has called for a parliamentary investigation, an action that should be open to question. National security is an issue that requires bipartisan cooperation without political gain. We urge the opposition party to rethink its motives, and to put the nation’s interests above their own.