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[Editorial] Without Money, Without Promotion Within Army?

[Editorial] Without Money, Without Promotion Within Army?

Posted August. 15, 2002 22:27,   


Ministry of Defense Lee Joon issued a warning in anticipation of the upcoming promotion in October. By looking at his warning, we could easily guess how rampant the corruption is regarding promotion within the army. He said at an internal promotion-related meeting, “More than 100 people asked for my favor in the upcoming promotion. It all happened within 30 days of my term. We have known of this problem for a long time. But still it is believed that without special favor, they cannot be promoted. It’s a shame on us all.”

It seems that favoritism in promotion is widespread within the army. Not long before, we were shocked at the document found in Asia Pacific Peace Foundation’s director’s house, asking for favored promotion. We also got appalled at the arrest of the head of Military Manpower Administration for his acceptance of bribery in return for favored promotion. Whenever these things happen, we the public lose confidence in our army.

Of course, favoritism is not limited to the army. But, promotion within the army should be stricter since our nation depends it existence upon the readiness of our army, and the readiness is closely related to who will be commanders. As Minister Lee remarked, “If you chip in, you think of the ways of reaping it back in,” how could an officer who buys himself the position concentrate only on his duties? It is also easily imaginable how severely the readiness will be damaged if the promotion is determined by how much money you give to your higher-ups. It is more serious since more and more officers are being passed over in promotion. Lee’s remarks give us a fresh surprise and make us easily guess how he is determined to do the last promotion of this administration in a fairest manner. Minister Lee said, “I will not make an issue of the favored promotion that has happened so far.” But we think it necessary that the information on all the people involved in favoritism and promotion be made public. In most cases, the people who asked for favor in army promotion are the people who command the high social status in society. Thus, the personal information on them should be disclosed in order to prevent any future happening like this. We really do hope that Lee’s warning will pave the way for the clean promotion within the army in the future.