This is no time for cyber pranks

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This is no time for cyber pranks

Are we losing our senses? At a moment of crisis when our land was bombarded with artillery shells from North Korea, did we have to hurt ourselves with irresponsible rhetoric?

We are playing out the same absurd phenomenon as in the aftermath of the sinking of the Cheonan naval corvette. The difference is that now, the platform for hearsay and conspiracy theories has changed from Internet Web sites and blogs to social-networking and microblogging services.

Netizens are sharply divided on the Yeonpyeong incident. Some condemn North Korea. Others blame South Korea for giving the North an excuse to take action with a naval exercise near the inter-Korean coast.

As one Twitter message said: “We should not have annoyed North Korea with our military drills.”

But these people should understand that they are dancing to North Korea’s tune, even though it is clear that the North ordered the carefully choreographed attack.

Public opinion was also divided over the results of the investigation into the March sinking of the Cheonan, with one side even claiming that the blast was a fabricated story from our side.

Lee Jung-hee, the head of liberal Democratic Labor Party, said on his Twitter page that the latest attack on Yeonpyeong Island was the result of fallout from sour inter-Korean relations. As with the Cheonan attack, liberal opposition groups are lashing out at the government instead of at North Korean leaders. Don’t they feel any burst of rage against this hideous action committed by the North, or do they have more compassion for the people in the North than they do for the people here?

In this land, we are free to speak our mind. But we are in a war-like situation, with artillery firing and fighter jets flying overhead. We should not succumb to a vile blame game among ourselves. The enemy is watching, congratulating itself for succeeding yet again in sparking a fight in the South over a crime it has committed.

This is no time for pranks - like text messages that said “Run for your life! We’re at war!” Such childish action can wreak havoc on social stability. During a time like this, a text message like that can be serious enough to merit a prison sentence and fines. Meanwhile, we applaud the more mature users calling for calm and unity.

Every one of us must stand behind our country. It should not be just the armed soldiers on the front line who bear the responsibility for defending this land.
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