Protection from terrorism

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Protection from terrorism

The horrifying taking of hostages, holding them for ransom and then beheading them conducted by the Islamic State (ISIS) has cost two Japanese lives. The terrorist group demanded the Japanese government pay a $200 million ransom for the hostages. After beheading the first Japanese hostage, Haruma Yukawa, a week ago, it then asked the Jordanian government to hand over a convicted suicide bomber to spare the life of journalist Kenji Goto. It ended the drama by releasing a video of the killing of the journalist. The extremist group has mocked international values and committed a grave crime against humanity. Its wickedness and brutality should further unite and cement the international resolution against terrorism.

What should immediately be put into action is a new act under the United Nations Charter to contain and root out terrorism organizers, recruiters, and fundraisers under a resolution that passed the UN Security Council on Sept. 24. The resolution on “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” requires all countries in the UN to “prevent and suppress the recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to a state other than their states of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, and the financing of their travel and of their activities.” The UN resolution calls for international cooperation and information sharing to contain the travel and activities of terrorists.

But only Germany and a few other countries are following through. South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who attended the Security Council meeting, promised to comply fully with the resolution through rigid law enforcement and surveillance. But South Korea doesn’t have the laws to keep that promise. Korea can only deport terrorists. Individuals associated with the terrorist organizations Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been caught in 2010 and 2013 in the country attempting to raise funds. But Seoul authorities could do nothing more than kick them out. This is a serious neglecting of duty on the part of the government and legislature.

ISIS has become more daring in its propaganda campaign through its sophisticated use of digital technology and the Internet. A South Korean teenager is suspected to have been wooed by the organization to come to Syria. But local authorities have neither the power to track such activities or punish them. We must learn from the tragedy of the Japanese hostages and establish laws to protect the nation from terrorism. It is an international obligation. JoongAng Ilbo, Feb. 2, Page 30

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