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The meaning of an old general’s candidacy for president

The meaning of an old general’s candidacy for president

Posted March. 20, 2017 07:09,   

Updated March. 20, 2017 07:16


In 1170, King Uijong of Goryeo ordered Subakhee against Muban (military officials) on his way to Bohyeon temple. Subakhee is an ancient Korean martial art that strikes the opponent with hands. Subakhee is later developed as Taekkyeon. When Gen. Lee So-eung was defeated, the civil official Han Roe slapped him in the face and Lee was tumbled down a foot stone and humiliated. That was an era when military officials were disregarded and civil officials had the military command authority. The rage of the military officials burst and they, including Jeong Jung-bu, started a military revolt immediately and that was the beginning of the military regime which lasted for 100 years.

In August 2004, a rumor spread that an army general remarked, “The revolt of Jeong Jung-bu broke out as civil servants disregarded and ignored military officials, even though they knew nothing.” Then the Roh administration pursued policies to appoint civil officials to key posts of the Defense Ministry and to make a balanced development of the land, sea an air forces and the sense of crisis was spreading among generals. Army Chief of Staff Nam Jae-joon was blamed for the comment. It was turned out to be groundless after the investigation of the Defense Security Command. However, the event labeled him as an anti-reformist since then.

To him, national security, anti-communism, and patriotism were the religion and integrity, rigidity, and royalty were the code of conduct. Mr. Nam was known to behave like a third-year cadet. Hence, he had to collide with the Roh government. When he was investigated into possible fraud allegedly engaged in the promotion review of brigadier general of the army, he fought back by submitting an application to transfer. It was nothing more than a letter of resignation. Mr. Nam barely ended his duty and retired. Since then, he was in the lead opposing the takeover of wartime control, reduction in force and the term of service.

In his inauguration as the director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), he said that he was determined to be a warrior. As the chief of the NIS, he left a legacy of so-called ‘eradication of pro-North Korean forces,’ including the release of the Inter-Korean Summit meeting minutes and the investigation on the leftist Unified Progressive Party lawmaker Lee Seok-ki. Mr. Nam (73) announced to run for office on last Friday and he said, “The current political conditions on Northeast Asia is like the situations on the latter era of the Joseon Dynasty. Domestic conditions are worse than the times right after the defeat of the Vietnam War.” In an interview that was made before his announcement, he let out his anger by saying that he would visit the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae with his gun, if he knew the existence of Choi Soon-sil. It seems that the reason why he goes to war again is to show his last-ditch stand to stop the arrival of another Roh Moo-hyun.