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[Editorial] Support Our Troops

Posted September. 30, 2006 04:19,   


Tomorrow is the 58th Armed Forces Day. Even though it is celebrated every year, this time many seem perplexed about the existence of military forces as transfer of wartime command control arguments are stirring up debates over self-reliance. As North Korean missile issues and rumors about nuke tests are escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, the security threats let us realize about the important role of the military forces.

Despite the current situation, their motivation has been falling these days. At the illegal rally against the U.S. base expansion project in Pyeongtaek, military forces couldn’t even defend themselves against the violent demonstrators. At the memorial service to honor war soldiers of the West Sea Battle, neither the President nor the Prime Minister has showed up for the last four years. Above all, the ambiguous stance by the government that talks in favor of North Korea’s nuclear issues is undermining their awareness for whom and for what to fight for.

An unprecedented rally happened where various groups ranging from former founders of the armed forces to reserve officers came out to the streets protesting against the wartime operational command control issue. We can well imagine why former Defense Minister Cho Young-kil, who once was close to President Roh to hold the umbrella for him on Army Day three years ago, ended up criticizing the risky behavior by the president.

On the other hand, President Roh is still stressing the words “self-reliance,” enforcing the unprepared plan of retrieval of wartime operational control. He even went further by referring elderly soldiers as supporters for past dictatorship. Not long after his inauguration, Roh promised to provide a society to show respect to veterans and army reserve. Now he is trying to depress their patriotism.

It is a divine duty to protect democracy against enemy attack. Unless North Korea will completely give up its tough military policy line, we should maintain an airtight defense posture, regardless of talks between South and North.

Even though there are ideological disputes and social conflicts, we feel safe and secure since we have our military forces. They were the ones who played a great role in economic accomplishments as well. I want to encourage our armed forces for their great efforts. Army forces should remember that the public is standing by them and supporting them more than anyone else.