Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(EDITORIAL from Korea JoongAng Daily on Sept. 7)

Editorials from Korean dailies 07:09 September 07, 2023

Shame on the lawmakers again

Ferocious attacks on rivaling parties were in full swing on Wednesday, five days into the final regular session of the 21st National Assembly. It was triggered by Rep. Sul Hoon from the majority Democratic Party (DP). On the first day of the Q&A session, the veteran lawmaker first raised suspicions over the possibility of the presidential office intervening in the investigation of the tragic death of a marine on a rescue mission and moved on to say the case leaves room for a presidential impeachment. In turn, members of the governing People Power Party (PPP) demanded an apology from the lawmaker for making the outrageous argument.

Nevertheless, the representative kept attacking the Yoon Suk Yeol administration for "conniving at Tokyo's plan to discharge the contaminated wastewater" from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific and for the conservative government's decision to relocate the bust of independence fighter Hong Beom-do from the Korean Military Academy, citing his connection to the Soviet Communist Party. When the DP legislator mentioned the presidential impeachment once again, the chamber of the legislature immediately fell to chaos after PPP members vehemently attacked him.

Earlier, Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo earnestly requested courtesy from lawmakers before the start of the session. But his plea ended with an exchange of indecent words from lawmakers in just 10 minutes.

The regular session was reserved for a comprehensive review of what the government did over the last three years and to find effective ways to help the people overcome their tough living circumstances through legislation. Only then can the lawmakers ask the people to vote for them in the next parliamentary elections on April 10. The conversation between the 74-year-old prime minister and the 31-year-old novice lawmaker from a minor party drew special attention, even though it should be normal.

The anomie in the legislature can be partly attributed to DP Chair Lee Jae-myung — who started a hunger strike to demand the government "stop destroying democracy" — just a day before the opening of the Assembly. On Wednesday, he stressed the need to "drag the president down" if he goes against public opinion, hinting at the possibility of his impeachment. The DP, holding 169 seats in the 300-member legislature, denied it. But his comment is utterly irresponsible as it is apparently aimed at inciting the public.

There are voices in the DP demanding the party leader stop his causeless hunger strike. We urge Lee to return to the Assembly to do his fair share if he really cares about the future of the country and himself.

Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!