South Koreans watch smoke rise from Yeonpyeong
it was struck by artillery shells from the North,
Nov. 23. It was
the most intense artillery attack since 1970. Two South Korean
soldiers were killed and 19 people, including three civilians,
JoongAng Ilbo, South
It's Time to 'Retaliate'
Against North Korea
military should be prepared to counterattack without hesitation in order to
show the North that it will not be permitted to commit such an act again. … This
attack justifies any type of retaliation we choose."
Today's provocation by North
Korea goes beyond anything we had imagined. Firing over 100 rounds of artillery
onto Yeonpyeong Island,
the west coast region has been put on the highest-ever military alert. The
North says it fired the shells in response to activities connected with our
regular military exercises.
With memories of the Korean
War still vivid in all of our minds, this massive attack again confirms the
grim reality that such a tragedy may be repeated at any time. We strongly warn
the North that if it prefers to continue playing with fire, it is destined to
be destroyed by the fire it ignited.
That the North fired so many
shells, not only at a military base but also at a residential area, is an
unconscionable act. This is a direct and provocative attack on the South that has
left many military and civilians casualties and done considerable damage to
civilian property. Our military should be prepared to counterattack without
hesitation in order to show the North that it will not be permitted to commit such
an act again - even to the point of destroying the artillery unit that
Pyongyang has positioned along the tense western coast.
This attack justifies any type
of retaliation we choose. Considering the likelihood of additional provocations
down the road, our military should be highly-prepared to launch counterattacks
strong enough to prevent any more.
With this in mind, President
Lee Myung-bak should take the lead in stepping up the level of our national
preparedness by calling on military officials as well as the U.S.-Republic of
Korea Joint Military Command to take a react with resolution. And while asking
the public to cope with the situation in a resolute and orderly manner, the
president should also issue a clear message to the North. In front of the
entire world, President Lee must denounce the attack to seek support, while
explicitly demonstrating our overwhelming dominance of the North in every
aspect of our national strength - both physical and psychological.
In addition, the public must give
its full support to both the government and military. When faced with a
national crisis like this one, all of us should be wise enough to set aside any
vehement demonstrations of disagreement.
Above all, the military should
be equipped with a firm, effective and rapid response system. With its close
ties to U.S. forces, the South Korean military has maintained high-level combat
capabilities. After the sinking of the Cheonan, we should never again
allow North Korea to play with fire.
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