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[Editorial] Entire Nation is Swamped with Outrage

Posted June. 23, 2004 21:18,   


How could a human being commit such a brutal atrocity? It is suspicious if Iraqi terrorists, outrageously beheading an innocent civilian, are human beings with hearts. Misfortune, having slashed Kim Sun-il, 34, a regular Korean man, is an unimaginable heartless crime. It is highly unlikely to express such an abominable act only with terms such as astonishment, rage, and denunciation. This brutal slaying left us speechless and shuddering.

Terrorists sent a deep scar not only to Kim’s family but also all Koreans. Even thinking of Kim’s shouting, “I don’t want to die” and his last looks while kneeling on the floor, crying, drives Koreans into deep sorrow. What he did was just to go to Iraq to earn money for school tuition in exchange for risking his life. The only reason he was targeted by terrorists was the fact that he is Korean. This is serious enough to spur all nations to call for penalties against them with the outrage that exists now.

Completely disregarding humanity, the Iraqi insurgents, associating Korea’s planned deployment of troops to Iraq and Kim’s death, put Kim in an orange jumpsuit just like U.S. hostages and called for the Korean military’s withdrawal and abandoning additional deployment. Saying, “Your soldiers here are not for the sake of the Iraqis, but they are here for the cursed America,” they condemned both Korea and the U.S as the same enemy. Without giving us time to enter into negotiations, they committed such an evil act. It became evident that their aim is not Kim’s life but blocking the troop deployment.

Now, our choice is clear. President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday, “We should never tolerate terror as a means to an end, and thus we will sternly combat it.” The government should not kneel down to terrorists’ threats and instead fight against them with strong determination. This is the way to prevent another tragedy akin to Kim’s.

Murderers said, “This is the result of your own doings.” We should mull over whether it was for us to give room for atrocious terrorists to steer the leverage in this case. If the government backs down, it is very likely for them to inch up the level of threat.

Surrounded with sorrow and outrage, nevertheless, we should stay awake to cope with the current situation. The first thing we should do is to craft up the plan for the protection of Koreans in Iraq as well as the Middle East region. In addition to it, local security against terror should also be consolidated with repeated checks.

People, meanwhile, should be cool-headed and keep in mind that condemnation should be on the terrorists and not the innocent Iraq people or the Arabs residing in Korea. Otherwise, we may fall into traps set by terrorists. We must not be swung by emotion.

Despite the government efforts, numerous loopholes were found this time. While Japanese hostages were released, the Korean counterpart was decapitated. This is convincing enough to reproach the government’s incapability, even though they were detained by different armed groups. The government, for instance, even failed to have clear information over when Kim was kidnapped and, further, was unsuccessful in making Iraqi people accept that Korean troops are coming for the sake of Iraq.

This misfortune, even though sparked by death of one person, is driving the nation into crisis. Both the people and the government must act with cautious determination and work hard to mobilize national power.