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[Editorial] Abduction of Japanese, It Can Happen to Us

Posted April. 09, 2004 22:23,   


The government’s decision to ban travel to Iraq was a right one although it was rather late. It should prevent citizens from going to dangerous areas because there still is the possibility of “brave” Koreans visiting Iraq for business or some other reason even after the seven Koreans detained by armed insurgents were released.

Also, 150 Korean citizens in Iraq had better come back to Korea following the government’s advice or go to one of neighboring countries to take shelter. It is not time to be relieved even after the two detention affairs which took place at four-day intervals were settled. We should be careful with the memory of the two Koreans killed last November in mind.

Iraqi insurgents detained three Japanese as a means of threatening for the withdrawal of Japanese troops. When citizens become the target of terrorists, the citizens themselves meet with tragedy and the government may possibly fall into the mire as well. No one can guarantee that we will not be put into such a situation now that we promised additional dispatch troops following Seohee and Jema units. It is not time to relax even though the Iraqis who detained missionaries showed enmity against the U.S., England, and Japan but not against Korea.

Kidnappers don’t take foreigners’ identity or their purpose of staying into account. They kidnapped three Japanese who opposed the dispatch of Japanese troops, namely, they are friendly toward Iraq. There is possibility of the insurgents taking extreme action who said, “We will kill them unless the Japanese troops withdraw,” threatening them, including an 18-year-old boy with knives.

It is difficult to expect reasonable behavior from Iraqi insurgents even though it is an unforgivable crime to kidnap citizens even in wartime. The surest measure for safety is not to go to Iraq for a while.