Young and hapless

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Young and hapless

Koreans today are completely unrestricted in expressing their opinions and themselves - as long as they don’t spread lies.

A student activist who is running to be a proportional representative for the splinter opposition Unified Progressive Party added fury to the already contentious dispute over the naval base on Jeju Island by posting a photo via Twitter against the project, in which she called it a base for pirates.

Kim Ji-yoon’s comment became more than a joke or a sensational word game among young Twitter fans because it came from a would-be politician. What could have been brushed aside as a reckless, youthful stunt took on a whole different meaning because the person in question is serious about entering politics.

Our society no longer expects morality and justice from lawmakers, if truth be told. But aspiring legislators nevertheless should possess a basic sense of decorum and a modicum of respect. They should at least respect the fundamental pillars of our society and understand the need to protect the country’s security and land, and the devotion to the nation that requires.

The military is where most young Korean males sacrifice a prime period in their 20s for the common goal of ensuring the defense of the country and its land. Anyone in this land enjoying the luxury of security because of their sacrifice should not call soldiers pirates, especially if that person wants to join politics.

Kim explained that what she meant by pirating was that the naval base in Jeju could be instrumental in the American imperialistic ambition of dominating the East Asian seas.

How could a university-educated intellectual come to believe the Korean Navy is so weak that it will help Americans dominate our seas, even if they are our allied forces? Does Kim believe our people are helpless enough to yield our land and seas to foreign forces? If so, she clearly underestimates our national intelligence and power. And she is obviously unqualified to represent the people and the nation in the legislature.

The candidate may have wished to make her name known through her stunt. There are already criticisms against the party’s recruiting of young candidates for proportional representation because of their immature actions and comments.

Parties must remember that a young age alone does not ensure new thinking and reform. Even young people must have an honest devotion to serve this nation and its people.

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