Manual for military disasters needed

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Manual for military disasters needed

Residents living in and around Gangneung city, Gangwon were terrified all through the night after one of the two Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missiles the South Korean military had fired on Tuesday evening in reaction to North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) provocation earlier that day fell near the area where they live. The missile went down on a military base in the region and the warhead did not blow up. Otherwise, it could have led to massive casualties. After the news went viral, photos and videos were posted on social media. But the local fire department reportedly returned empty-handed after the military base’s explanation that it was just a part of its regular training program.

For the next eight hours, military authorities and the fire department did not send any warnings or information to local residents. In the meantime, a number of local citizens rushed to call the Gangneung city government and fire department to demand answers to why such a strange accident took place. Even fake news about “eight people missing” quickly spread on the internet. After military authorities came up with an explanation about the descent of the missile two days later, many residents complained about their belated reaction.

Our military took the right action by immediately reacting to North Korea’s missile provocation. But we cannot understand why the it didn’t tell local residents what’s really happening. The government must find out exactly what went wrong from the beginning.

The Yoon Suk-yeol administration must check if the country has an appropriate manual for civil defense exercises and facilities to evacuate citizens at times of contingency. After the IRBM fired by North Korea flew over Hokkaido, Japanese authorities immediately issued a warning to residents.

Municipal governments in Japan are required to designate a minimum space per person — approximately nine square feet — in concrete buildings or underground facilities for evacuation. As North Korea has been ratcheting up the level of missile provocation this year, Tokyo is raising the level of civil defense to cope with the North Korean threat. We wonder if our government and military will do the same in this country.

The authorities must thoroughly investigate what was the problem with the missile launch. The military fired the missile as part of a joint response with the U.S. to the North’s firing of an IRBM that can strike as far as Guam, a base for U.S. strategic assets.

The Hyunmoo-2 missile, a pivot to our Kill Chain preemptive strike system, can target all parts of North Korea. But the recent fiasco in Gangneung critically diminished the power of the missile. The Yoon administration must get to the bottom of the accident to find the exact cause of the incomprehensible fall of the missile.
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