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[Editorial] Ruling Party Should Reconsider Abolishing the National Security Law

[Editorial] Ruling Party Should Reconsider Abolishing the National Security Law

Posted December. 05, 2004 23:18,   


The movement by the ruling party to abolish the National Security Law seems stubborn. The ruling Uri Party is determined to introduce a bill for the annulment of the National Security Law in parliament’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee on Monday, which was cancelled two times last week because of opposition from the Grand National Party (GNP). The floor leader of the Uri Party has threatened to take the seat if the committee chairman from GNP continues to avoid putting it on the agenda.

First of all, there is no flaw in the ruling party’s assertion to vote on whether or not to introduce the bill. It is a fundamental of parliamentary operations to take a vote on the matter if an agreement is not reached after the debate. However, a parliamentary consensus cannot be reached with mere formal conditions. The problem will only get bigger if the public’s opinion is not properly reflected during the process.

In reality, about 70-80 percent of the people are opposed to abolition of the National Security Law. They think the framework of the law should be kept as it is for security reasons, only fixing or discarding poisonous stipulations that infringe upon human rights. The current situation where North Korean defectors incessantly come in and go out of South Korea emphasizes the need to maintain the National Security Law.

The Grand National Party is willing to come to the negotiation table on the issue of amending the bill. The GNP has proposed coming up with an alternative measure to the National Security Law within this week. The majority of the ruling party’s lawmakers are pressing to reach a compromise solution with the opposition party. Notwithstanding, it is unreasonable that the ruling party is trying to hurry introducing an abolition bill on the agenda without any formal negotiation with the opposition party.

This applies not only to the National Security Law, but also for all other disputed legislative bills. From the current ruling party’s attitude, one can’t but notice coercion to get rid of them when they have the majority power. It is hard to see any effort from them to persuade or compromise with the opposition party or the concerning party. This is no different from reform despotism, a pretext of procedural democracy.

No matter what reform movement occurs, it will be hard to succeed without the consent of the people. Thus, it is an irony that the ruling party is pursuing the abolition of the National Security Law as if it were a symbol of reform, even though most people disagree with it. At this moment, it is wise for the Uri Party to rethink the issue of abolishing the National Security Law.