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“Rudeness Toward Victims”

Posted August. 18, 2007 03:03,   


Criticism is spreading over a comment by Minister of Unification Lee Jae-jeong that, “The West Sea Collision is a topic that should be reflected on.”

About 150 members of the Korea Veterans Association Seoul Division held a demonstration on August 17 in front of the Central Government Complex in Sejongno, Seoul, denouncing Minister Lee’s comment ‘reflecting on the West Sea Collision.’

Members urged an immediate explanation, describing Minister Lee’s comment as “foolish talk without common sense” and released a statement saying, “Reflect on yourself whether you are qualified to be minister of unification and clarify your future position.”

On the same day, the Grand National Party refused to hear a report by Minister Lee on the progress of South-North summit promotions and the prospects for results as planned in the morning.

“How can a person with such poor regard for the victims who sacrificed themselves for the nation be minister of unification?” asked Grand National Party floor leader Kim Hyong-o at a meeting of major party executives on the same day. “It’s doubtful whether the comment wasn’t intended for Northern consumption prior to the summit and prior to talks to re-establish the northern limit line, which North Korea wants.”

“I meant to say that more political efforts should have been made so that the West Sea collision could be prevented,” Minister Lee said at a regular briefing session regarding his comment later. “I didn’t intend any special meaning by using the term ‘reflect on,’ but I apologize for any misunderstandings that might have been caused.”