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[Editorial] ‘Terrorism’ in the Nat’l Assembly

Posted March. 02, 2009 23:49,   


Ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Chun Yu-ok at the National Assembly yesterday was attacked by several of women affiliated with Minkahyup, a coalition of families advocating democracy. They grabbed Chun’s hair and beat her face and neck while swearing. As Chun said, this brutal act clearly shows the dismal state of Korean democracy.

The attack is apparent retaliation for Chun’s push for a revision bill on a re-trial of the 1989 incident at Busan’s Dongeui University. In 2002, dozens of Dongeui students found guilty of the deaths of seven police officers in a 1989 protest were recognized as pro-democracy activists by the Commission for Democratization Movement Activists` Honor-Restoration and Compensation. Chun challenged the decision Tuesday by saying she will submit a revised bill on a law to compensate those who took part in pro-democracy movements. Police also said Chun’s assailants committed the attack out of anger over her legislative activities.

Those involved in the university case received 25 million won (16,300 U.S. dollars) in compensation along with a government decoration. They have been hailed as “pro-democracy activists” though they killed seven police officers. Chun has stepped forward to correct a wrong of the left-leaning commission, a group which has turned violent protesters who burned police officers to death into freedom fighters. The assault against Chun, therefore, is tantamount to a challenge to free democracy.

The legislative activities of a lawmaker are simply not a right granted by the public and the Constitution, but also an obligation. Assaulting a legislator who does his or her job is an anti-constitutional act that negates the value of the Constitution, and also constitutes treason. As such, the assailants should undergo strict prosecution. Those who orchestrated the attack should be also brought to justice. Law enforcement agencies should also identify the involvement of the association of those involved in the Dongeui incident and the Korea Alliance for Progressive Movement, which participated in a news conference to protest the revision in front of Chun’s office the same day.

Such a terrorist act that ignores law and order is closely related with the overall social atmosphere in which the public show little respect for law and order and law enforcement agencies. The lawmakers who took the lead in trampling on law and order by tearing down National Assembly facilities with hammers and power saws must first reflect on themselves.