Upheaval in South Korea unwarrented
Korea is one of the few countries that is respected everywhere.
Everything in Korea seems to be in good order. It is a nation of disciplined, organized and conscientious people. Occupied for about five decades and ravaged by war, the Korean people did not slip; rather, they maintained their spirit and bounded back with zeal and fervor.
From an economic backwater to the high tide of economic and industrial progress in a short time is no mean achievement. After the end of the Korean war, the Korean people had to wage another struggle; that of survival.
They improvised and, edged on by sheer determination and solid work ethics, were, within a remarkably short period, among the outstanding players in Asia. They were, however, not to be only regional players, their aim was to be global - and they have succeeded.
Today Korea is the envy of many countries because of its industrial and economic clout.
A country that was systematically destroyed now boasts an economy that many another covets. While its northern brothers suffered under a communist dictatorship, South Korea and its democracy moved steady forward. Of course some tough measures were taken from time to time but they all contributed to a booming Korea.
Today the very same Korea, long a symbol of discipline and unity, is undergoing a painful process which threatens chaos. It is apparent that the scandal of the 1992 presidential election fund is causing alarm and confusion in many different sectors.
Political analysts, both in Korea and abroad, have noted President Kim-Young Sam's efforts to fight corruption and vitalize the Korean economy.
Indeed, the President has had his second son imprisoned and shown on television in handcuffs and prison clothes. Creditably, the President has not interfered with the investigation launched by prosecutors.
This has in no way appeased some politicians who are taking advantage of the crisis and are raising persistent questions about the funding of the 1992 election.
The fund issue itself stems from Korea's political structure and is not the result of one man's action.
President Kim Young-Sam has acknowledged his awareness of the demand with regard to the election fund. However, some opposition groups are not convinced of his sincerity nor have their barbed comments ceased despite the President's apologizing on television for his son's behavior.
Meanwhile the chaos in Korea is increasing. The President's frank and brave stance is not reciprocated by the opposition who seem unaware that all democracies make mistakes. There are many question marks, for example, on President Clinton's campaign funding issue; yet it has not attracted the exclusive attention of all U.S. politicians. Korea is no exception. Its problems too can be resolved in a peaceful manner.
It is imperative that South Korea which in the past has suffered from every kind of political and economic difficulty and still emerged victorious not be subjected to economic and social chaos.
The opposition should realize that there is no alternative to security and stability - the real source of Korean economic power. Funding issues will always come under scrutiny even with the opposition in power. No government can satisfy an entire population. However, President Kim has promised to help clear up the situation in as clear a manner as possible.
In the light of all the president's actions and in the interest of the Korean nation, it is of the utmost importance that the opposition focus on serious issues facing the country such as re-unification of the two Koreas, continuation of the democratic process and staying at the head of the pack of Asian tigers.
Presidential elections are only 7 months away and the Korean people do not need unnecessary and irrelevant diversions to turn them away from the path of progress.
Topics: South Korea