[Letter] No future for those who forgot the past

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[Letter] No future for those who forgot the past

On Jan. 21, 1968, 31 armed guerillas from the North Korean Reconnaissance Bureau penetrated into Seoul with an order to launch an attack on the Blue House. As they were passing the Jaha Gate, they were stopped and questioned by the police. They shot submachine guns at the police officers and threw a grenade at a bus. Thankfully, the military and police responded promptly, and civilians actively participated in reporting the crime, so the armed infiltrators could not successfully carry out their mission. However, eight innocent civilians were killed and 30 servicemen and police officers were killed in action, and 52 were injured.

Koreans in the South were once again reminded of the hostility and brutality of North Korea, and the attack led to the founding of the Homeland Reserve Forces and the Student National Defense Corps. It served as an opportunity to prepare for an all-out war readiness of an integrated defense system of the civilian, government and military units and a self-reliant national defense readiness.

Forty-five years have passed since the Jan. 21 infiltration, but hardly anyone remembers the pain and suffering felt on the day of the attack. The older generation has failed to convey the historical significance to their children. If we bury the painful history in the past, we cannot achieve anything down the road. We need to reflect on the meaning and lessons from the events in the past. Only then, history can become a guiding vision for the future.

Year 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the cease-fire armistice. As the only remaining divided country in the world, the war is still not over on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has made approximately 2,800 armed provocations since, and the provocation is likely to continue. Especially in order to maximize the strategic impact, there is a possibility of a high-intensity military provocation on the capital region.

At this juncture, how is the security awareness of the Korean society? According to a survey, 57 percent of the young Koreans do not know when the Korean War occurred. The security awareness is feeble, and pro-Pyongyang groups are operating openly. There is no future for the people who have forgotten history. I hope the past of suffering to become an engine for the future and an insurance against repeating tragic events .
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