[VIEW 2035] Breaking the cycle of hate
The author is a political news reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo
President Yoon Suk-yeol is no stranger to groups of YouTubers protesting in front of his private residence.
Three years ago, before former President Park Geun-hye’s execution was suspended, one YouTuber threatened Yoon in front of his residence in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul.
“I know where you live, and I also know your license plate number. You better stay alert, I mean it,” he threatened while receiving donations from his viewers.
Back then, an official from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said, “Our senior prosecutor really enjoys taking walks, but he cannot go outside right now. This is an act of terrorism aimed at a quasi-judicial body.”
Soon the prosecutor who was in charge of the case issued a search and seizure warrant.
Two weeks later, the protester was arrested with charges of threats and obstruction of justice.
The prosecutor presented videos that showed the perpetrator going to the private residence of Park Won-soon, former mayor of Seoul, and the houses of DP lawmakers Woo Won-shik and Seo Young-kyo.
The YouTuber received a punishment.
Earlier this month, President Yoon commented on the protests in front of former President Moon Jae-in’s residence, saying that “protests in front of the presidential office are not restrained. The protests are legal.”
This reminds me of the YouTuber who was dealt with by the law three years ago. It seems that this is no different from the protesters in front of the former president’s house.
The protesters show up in front of people’s homes just because someone doesn’t share the same ideas with them. They shout out swear words, harming others.
The hatred shown by the attackers brings monetary gain to them. It’s all the same.
“The protesters are doing this because they know what they’re doing causes pain to the victim,” said the prosecutor, who investigated the YouTuber three years ago.
Back then, the prosecution’s investigation seemed quite harsh. However, now we need strong actions.
Many have voiced concerns after protesters threw firebombs at Chief Justice Kim Myeong-su’s car and the judge who declared former South Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kyung-soo guilty asked for protection.
And now, counter-rallies in front of President Yoon’s Seoul residence are taking place. It is a vicious cycle where hatred begets more hatred.
Moon’s administration failed to break this circle. Apparently, punishing the attacker by law meant nothing. Still, everyone will suffer if no proper actions are taken.
The YouTuber who was arrested three years ago was still brought to court after he was released when the legality for confinement was reviewed.
He changed his political stance completely after the so-called Cho Kuk scandal.
He volunteered as an election campaigner so actively that people who were charged in the presidential campaign got to know him. Now he is making efforts to occupy the place where protesters go in advance to stop the YouTuber protesters from gathering there.
Asked about the presence of the YouTuber in question, after protests in front of the former president’s house became a subject of debate, a supporter of the ruling party answered, “Back then, President Yoon gave him a letter that says the presidential candidate does not want him to be punished.”
Perhaps, this letter would be a better turning point to break this vicious cycle of hate rather than just saying “We can follow the law.”
BY PARK TAE-IN [firstname.lastname@example.org]