Go to contents

[Editorial] Solution to National Security Law Issue Should Be Guided by Public Opinion

[Editorial] Solution to National Security Law Issue Should Be Guided by Public Opinion

Posted October. 04, 2004 21:53,   


The Korean Freedom League, the Christian Council of Korea, and about 300 conservative groups held a “Rally to Defend the National Security Law to the Death” in Seoul Plaza in front of the city hall. It was the first time since the anti-nuclear and anti-Kim Jong-il rally in March of last year that another similar huge protest took place. They insisted that the Roh Moo-hyun regime is pro-North and anti-U.S. They strongly demanded that any moves against the NSL should stop immediately.

It is not encouraging to see the debate over whether to repeal the NSL spill into streets for whatever reason. We understand why some raised concerns about security and the regime’s political identity. Nevertheless, in a mature democratic society, the debate should take place within the institutional framework of the National Assembly.

Outdoor rallies call for more outdoor rallies. A group called Christians against the NSL made a silent march. The conservatives said they would hold a rally in the city of Busan. Wouldn’t the progressives sit idly by? Then the country will be mired in a series of rallies in support of as well as against the NSL. A violent clash is not unlikely.

The government and the ruling party are responsible for this turn of events. A majority of the public wants the NSL to be revised rather than repealed. In a poll by a major newspaper last month, more than 80 percent of respondents said the NSL should be maintained or revised. If they have set their party line out of respect for the will of the public and negotiated with the opposition party, the situation could have been different.

Uri Party chair Lee Bu-young commented that the rally was a groundless provocation. This is another bias. The opinion of conservative groups is an important part of public opinion. The difference in opinion should not be discounted as a provocation. He should always be attentive in order to expand the ground for public debate to harmonize progressivism and conservatism. This is the surest way to minimize the waste of “street rallies.” The debate on the NSL is no exception.