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Adieu 2017!

Posted December. 30, 2017 07:47,   

Updated December. 30, 2017 07:55


It is the end of the year 2017. Korea saw an “unprecedentedly” tumultuous year that was way more eventful than other years. People around the world expressed concern over Korea but our country has wisely and cool-headedly overcome a chaotic situation in state administration and the vacuum in political leadership that had been caused by the political scandal of former President Park Geun-hye’s confidante Choi Soon-sil. It feels almost like a miracle that Korea is embracing a New Year after navigating such rough waters and passing through the tunnel of chaos.

In the New Year’s editorial for 2017, The Dong-A Ilbo wrote: “The public was greater than a group of politicians. It was (people on) candlelight vigils that reversed the course sought by the political circle that would try to deviate from the constitutional trajectory of presidential impeachment. Millions of people took to the street but none was arrested, and every single person armed with a sense of ownership who avoided violence and did not break even a single glass window was silently shouting, ‘I am the Republic of Korea.’”

In 2017, all the people likewise joined hands to reinstate the Republic of Korea from a free fall by forming a united front. However, the sense of pride in citizenship respecting democratic process going beyond political ideology and the feeling of relief stemming from the overcoming of a tragedy in the nation’s constitutional history was a short-lived one. The crisis over North Korea’s nuclear and missile development wreaked havoc across South Korea. ABC, American broadcast network, singled out North Korea’s nuclear threat and rising tension on the Korean Peninsula as one of its top 10 biggest news stories of the year. It is also true that as the new South Korean administration has focused its state administration on eradicating deep-rooted evils of the past, seeds of fresh conflict have been planted.

Korea is about to embark on a new voyage in New Year 2018. Reflecting upon the journey, in which the year 2017 has been passing through taller mountains, deeper valleys and rougher waters, it is time for the Korean people to retest our own limitations and potentials. The political circle should also deeply reflect upon its past to make wise choice to protest national interests and ensure rule of law.

Pessimists find difficulties from opportunities while optimists discover opportunities from all different challenges. We must seek the Republic of Korea as a community of happiness where people will overcome conflict and confrontation and dream about harmony and co-existence, and as a country where all of us share the common sense and trust this great nation. Without doubt, pain and suffering that we have overcome throughout this year will provide a solid steppingstone in the journey to create such a nation. The year 2017 opened a new chapter in the contemporary history of the Republic of Korea. This past year has been more eventful and feverish than any other years in recent history. We are bidding farewell to 2017 together with our people, who were agitated sometimes, shared joys and sorrows, and smiled and cried together amid overflying excitement at other times throughout the year.