+ A

Get to the bottom of the case

Aug 01,2019
In a shocking development, it turns out that a suspect arrested by police for sending a terrifying package to Rep. Yoon So-ha of the progressive Justice Party was a 35-year-old man surnamed Yoon, who was a member of the Seoul branch of a progressive association of college students. Early on, the act of terror was presumed to have been conducted by a far-right group in Korea. Since the discovery, however, the case has taken a new turn.

The package — which contained a letter, a razor and a dead bird — was delivered to the office of Rep. Yoon in the National Assembly on July 3. The name of the sender was an extreme rightist group called “Taegukgi (Korean flag) Kamikaze Corps,” and the letter was written in red ink, warning the lawmaker to “stop behaving like a stooge of the ruling Democratic Party and as the Red Guard of the leftist Moon Jae-in administration.”

The letter also threatened that the lawmaker was “within our shooting range.” The Justice Party criticized the incident, calling it a “crime that cannot be overlooked.”

Concerns are growing fast because an incident like this can spike a vicious cycle of retaliations in a country sharply divided over ideology. Shortly after the incident, National Assembly speaker Moon Hee-sang defined it as a “grave threat to Korean society and the parliament.”

In fact, the leftist university student group led a campaign to welcome North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s expected trip to South Korea last November and stirred controversy by staging an event in Seoul to greet him while shaking pink flowers. The police believe that the suspect and his fanatical group — disguised as an ultra-rightist group — sent the package to the lawmaker on purpose. A far-right group of students flatly denied any association, asking why it would try to “blackmail a lawmaker who has been spearheading a crusade to root out past ills within the same liberal camp.” In a press conference, the group attacked law enforcement authorities for fabricating the truth.

Such a upsetting event cannot be forgiven, no matter what. The progressives must stop thinking that crime can be justified as long as it helps serve their own interests. If they really committed this act of terrorism, they must be sternly punished. The police and the prosecution must get to the bottom of this case to find the truth.

JoongAng Ilbo, July 31, Page 30