Time for retaliation

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Time for retaliation

North Korea’s provocation has gone beyond our imagination. With its artillery firing more than 100 shells onto Yeonpyeong Island yesterday, the intense west coast area has been put on the highest military alert ever. The North fired the shells on the pretext of responding to our regular military exercise.

With our memories of the Korean War still vivid, this massive attack confirms again the grim reality that such a tragedy can be repeated at any time. We strongly warn the North that if it still prefers to play with fire, it is soon destined to be demolished by the fire it ignited first.

That the North fired so many shells not only at a military base on the island but also at a civilian residential area is an unconscionable act. The provocation is a direct attack against the South. It has left many casualties both in the military and among civilians, not to mention having done considerable damage to civilian properties as well. Our military should be ready to counterattack without hesitation so as not to allow the North to commit this action again, even to the point of destroying the artillery squad that it has positioned along the tense western seacoast.

This provocation justifies any retaliation by us. Considering the possibility of additional provocations down the road, our military should be prepared to the utmost level to launch counterattacks strong enough to prevent any more provocations, and if necessary, it should put the preparation into action immediately.

With this in mind, President Lee Myung-bak should take the lead in forging our national preparedness by calling on the military brass, as well as the ROK-U.S. Joint Military Command, to take a resolute counteraction. He should also send a clear message to the North, while asking the public to cope with the situation in a resolute and orderly manner. He must denounce the attack before the entire world to seek support, while explicitly demonstrating our overwhelming dominance over the North in all aspects of national strength, both physical and psychological.

The public also needs to give its full support to both the government and the military. When faced with a national crisis, every one of us should be wise enough to put aside a vehement demonstration of disagreement.

Above all, the military should be equipped with an efficient, firm and rapid response system. It has been maintaining top-level combat capabilities with close ties to the U.S. Forces. After the Cheonan sinking we should never again allow North Korea to play with fire.
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