• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2017-11-01 17:01
North Korea's recent surprise repatriation of a South Korean fishing boat and its 10 crew members raises a serious question about the competence of the South Korean government, particularly the military, amid heightened tension over Pyongyang's repeated nuclear missile threats.

It is shocking that the government did not know of the North's capture of the boat and the fishermen that took place on Oct. 21 until they were sent back six days later on Oct 27. Defense Minister Song Young-moo admitted he came to know about it from local media reports of the announcement by the North’s mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency.
The agency said the South Korean fishing boat, 391 Hungjin-ho, illegally intruded into North Korean waters in the East Sea for the purpose of fishing and its crew admitted their offence, asking for leniency. A similar incident took place in August 2010 in international waters above the Northern Limit Line of the East Sea.

If a fishing boat is missing in the fishing area for nearly a week, the government should have presumed the possibility of capture by the North. A unification ministry spokesman came up with a lame excuse, saying maritime police had been searching for the boat after it was reported missing.

The maritime police did know the boat was missing but without any idea of it being in the North's custody and reporting to the military authorities. Yet, Minister Song did not receive any report as he admitted belatedly in a National Assembly audit.

This case shows there are serious flaws in the chain of command amid mounting military tension on the Korean Peninsula, not to mention the lax discipline in the military that is responsible for national security.

The government should conduct a thorough investigation of the incident, make public the truth and hold those involved accountable. Listening to the defense minister's testimony to the Assembly, it is hard to blame anyone for wondering piteously: "Can we go to sleep, trusting in our military and government?"



  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS