| A Malaysia Airlines jet was downed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday by a missile believed to be Russian-made, leaving 298 dead. The attack is a cold-blooded act of terrorism that cannot be tolerated. The flight, which departed from Amsterdam, the Netherlands for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had passengers from about 10 countries, including 154 Dutch. Although no Korean victims have been reported, the disaster reminds many Koreans of the former Soviet Union`s 1983 downing of a Korean Air passenger airplane.
Audio recordings released by the Ukrainian government, which claims them to be intercepted audio of pro-Russian separatists discussing the plane crash suggest that the rebel group is responsible for the terror. In the audio, the rebels say that they were 100 percent sure that it was a civilian plane and that there only civilian items found among the debris, such as towels and toilet papers. A Russian intelligence official said that there was a war going on. The rebels shot down Ukrainian cargo planes and fighter jets on Monday and Wednesday this week. It is highly likely that they mistook a passenger airplane as a military aircraft.
The U.S. intelligence authorities have concluded that a Russian-made ground-to-air missile was used in the attack. The rebels say that they would send the plane`s black box to Moscow for analysis, fueling suspicions about their links to Russia. The U.S. daily Washington Post reported that there was plenty of evidence showing Russia had been supplying weapons to the Ukrainian rebels. The paper editorially urged Washington and its allies to hold the criminals, including the Kremlin, responsible. The New York Times urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop assisting the Ukrainian rebels, saying that only he could stop the war.
Ukraine`s civil war began after Putin`s Russia merged with Crimea in March. The Malaysian airplane was an innocent victim of the civil war. Although South Korean carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, have been avoiding flying over eastern Ukraine since March, it is possible that some of their passengers get on other carriers` flights through code-sharing arrangements. This is why we cannot consider an international conflict as other people`s problems.
Although the United States` influence is said to have been dwindling, its role as a global cop is still important. The U.S. and Europe should join forces to stop Putin from intervening in the Ukraine crisis. The United Nations met Friday to discuss the terrorism on the passenger airplane at London`s request. The international community should hunt down those responsible for the attack on a civilian aircraft to the end of the world and punish them in the name of the humankind.