A small boat was found by a resident off the coast of Taean in the South Chungcheong Province on Saturday. It is believed that the boat was used by Chinese people who sneaked into the country. The police and the military confirmed through CCTV footage that people took off the boat two days ago and are tracking down on them. “Little suggests that they are communists, and we are currently investigating it,” said the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The finding of the small boat reminds us of the “waiting defects” incident. In June last year, a wooden boat from North Korea crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and waited until the sun rose to enter a port off the coast of Samcheok. The military was not aware of any of this until it received a report from a local resident. The defense minister made a public apology and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was warned while the legionary was stripped off the title.
The army and the navy in charge of coastal and marine borders were not aware of the boat until it was reported by a resident. However, the military insists waiting for the investigation results and declines to provide details citing security. It is an apparent attempt to buy time and avoid responsibility.
Unfortunately, this was only the latest in a series of the military’s failure to guard borders. Civilians breached naval bases in Jinhae and Jeju and the air defense base of the Capital Defense Command this year. Some even question the military’s ability to respond to spies and provocations and to defend the territory and airspace as they could not complete basic missions and protect their own bases.
Failure to protect borders partly stems from lack of discipline, which has recently sparked controversy. The military has promised to introduce special measures to enhance discipline, but they have not followed through and now are busy trying to avoid responsibility. It is high time that the military reflected on how it ended up being a concern or trouble for the nation.