Differentiating truth from fictionIt was long ago concluded that the Cheonan naval corvette was sunk by a North Korean torpedo, killing 46 sailors on board.
Multinational specialists from South Korea, the United States, Britain, Australia, and Sweden set up a joint investigation and explicitly confirmed that the deadly attack came from a North Korean submersible. Physical evidence, including a torpedo propeller with North Korea’s weaponry numbering signature, was presented to support the case.
We are nearing a year since the attack took place on March 26. However, there are still people among us who try to distort the factual cause of the warship’s sinking. Some go as far as arguing that the patrol ship sank after hitting a coral reef or was struck accidentally by fire from a U.S. naval ship.
After scrutinizing the case, one civilian group sent a letter to the United Nations to insist that there were lingering doubts about the result of the government-led investigation and flew to the United States to argue against the government report.
Their script perfectly matched North Korea’s claim that the entire incident was a conspiracy concocted by the South Korean government. Maverick liberals were content that these fictional theories resonated among young people.
But they underestimated the intelligence of our young people, as a movement has started on university campuses to raise awareness about North Korea. Courses on North Korea’s politics, war, military and ideology have gained popularity since the North’s attack on the Cheonan and its bombardment of Yeonpyeong Island on the western maritime border.
Many young people have been attracted to North Korea studies to decipher for themselves what is true and false among the theories still circulating on the Web.
A recent JoongAng Ilbo survey found that 67 percent of people aged between 19 and 29 believed the government’s report that the Cheonan ship was sunk by a North Korean submersible, even higher than the 47 percent of those in their 30s that have faith in the South Korean government’s report. Most of the young generation is also able to differentiate between truth and lies, regardless of what liberal factions say.
The funny thing about a lie is that it becomes more believable the more it is repeated. We will always need the ability to differentiate from right and wrong to not get swept up in groundless hoopla. It’s the only way we can prevent a crisis like the Cheonan disaster.