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[Editorial] What makes KorVa promote “Security Awareness”?

[Editorial] What makes KorVa promote “Security Awareness”?

Posted February. 01, 2007 06:58,   


On January 31, KorVa (Korean Veterans Association, President: Park Se-jik) organized the “21C Yulgok Forum” equipped with a nationwide network, in order to correct and reestablish the misled security awareness of the Korean public. Former Prime Minister Kang Yeong-hoon took the post of honorary chief director, and over 500 persons, including former high-ranking military officials, such as former Minister of National Defense Kim Sung-eun and former Interior Minister Ahn Eung-mo, as well as number of university professors, participated as directors and members. They also plan to hold a campaign to obtain 10 million signatures along with security lectures targeting students and the general public.

What drives KorVa to promote security education, which was considered in the past to be a government task? Cooperation and reconciliation with North Korea means something, but in a situation where the two Koreas are still in confrontation, security cannot be emphasized enough. No cooperation or reconciliation can be worthwhile without the premise of security. Nevertheless, the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations have obscured the security awareness of the people for the past nine years with their Sunshine and Engagement Policies. Roh Moo-hyun government, in particular, has ventured to reach an agreement with the U.S. on the early hand-over of war time operational control; despite the opposition of the majority of the people, based on its immature logics about independence and military sovereignty.

It is without question that military veterans who have spent all their lives at the utmost front of national security should point out that such decisions are being made too early and worry about the absence of security. Who wouldn’t be concerned when South Korea-U.S. ties are deteriorating, while North Korea goes wild with nuclear tests and the pro-North left wing streams thrive? In this context, criticism by military veterans on security policies should be construed as sacred and heartfelt words of advice for the nation and its people. The problem is the fact that the President and the 386 generation politicians degraded the criticism as the unsubstantiated fears of old soldiers.

KorVa and military veterans have been sending warning signals to the public through street protests, newspaper columns, advertisements and interviews, but all have been in vain. Over the years, every time they opened their mouths, the so-called Participatory Government, with their passive attitudes, closed them. The establishment of Yulgok Forum was bred out of the desperate fear that the only remaining path is to re-establish the security awareness of the people. We hope that the government, especially the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, that has found fault in every KorVa movement, describing their actions political activism, will not repeat their past stupidity in tackling this scheme.