Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chosun Ilbo says take it slow

Citing the US's reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the Chosun Ilbo is suggesting that the investigation into the sinking of the Chonan off the coast of Paengnyŏng-do Island in the Yellow Sea, and any determination of what to do in case North Korea is to blame, must be done carefully and methodically.

Their conclusion: South Korea should invade Iraq.

Nah, just kidding:
Following the September 11 attacks in New York, the U.S. immediately went into a nationwide state of emergency, while both Democratic and Republican lawmakers unanimously passed measures to support the president. Americans volunteered to assist in rescue efforts, while scores of young people joined the military to defend their country. An investigation of the attacks by the government and lawmakers was finally completed in July 2004 after being launched in November 2002.

Korea needs to take the same steps. Rescue operations for the missing must take place under emergency conditions, but the investigation of the cause of the sinking cannot be rushed. That is the best way to avoid the death of another Naval rescue diver following the loss of Warrant Officer Han Joo-ho.

Naval divers are equipped with only one decompression chamber to avoid the bends, and they are plunging into the depths of the ocean without an adequate supply of underwater search gear. The government should make more decompression chambers available even if it has to borrow them from the U.S. military and deploy deep sea search vessels to the scene of the wreckage. The South Korean submarine rescue ship Cheonghaejin is equipped with such a recovery vessel.

Ruling and opposition party lawmakers keep locking horns over whether to form a special committee at the National Assembly to deal with the Cheonan crisis. The press is full of speculation about what caused the vessel to split in half, while Internet discussion boards are filled with comments either supporting the government and military or criticizing them. But attempts by lawmakers to form a special fact-finding committee seem premature while the fate of the 46 missing sailors remains unknown. Scrutiny can only begin when the rescue operations come to an end.
Formation of such a committee may be premature, but keeping a forensic eye on the recovery process going on right now is the prudent thing to do. If South Korea must react with force against North Korea, we've got to be sure.

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1 comment:

  1. how can a country with so many advanced technologies NOT discover who or what caused this yet? and it's not like this happened thousands of miles off the coast from korea.

    this to me feels like a diversionary tactic by president lee. they have an election coming up in june, i believe. and since he and his party's popularity is in the tank, i think he's just trying to rile up people and play the "we're tough on north korea" angle to get elected.

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