Op-Ed: The tragedy in Seoul should force South Korean society to consider the despair of the next generation and create a new model
Recently I was invited to address the students of Jeil University for a master class on “Global Governance and the Role of Academia”. My theme was “The World’s Next Generation”. As I told them the story of the two young people who died on April 16, I felt my heart sink because the world is now paying the price of a “generation gap”—a divide between the two decades of youth and the old. I believe “generation gap” is the more appropriate term to describe this divide. In the last 12 months, two young South Koreans died in a terrorist attack in Seoul. They were both killed with suicide bombs, not with bullets. So we need to remember this tragedy because the next generation, especially in Korea, will experience it.
In my view, there are three main reasons why this happened. First, these South Koreans were a part of a wave of terrorist attacks in South Korea, as we have seen in the past two years. The government has failed to protect its citizens. It has failed to educate the public about the importance of safe practices. It has failed to train the police. It is time for the government to admit that it is failing the people of South Korea.
Second, this has been a result of a failure of governance. The government of South Korea has made a decision that is not in our best interests. It has failed to take the responsibility to protect its citizens. It has failed to take the responsibility to educate its citizens. We need to address both of these shortcomings because if we cannot address the first, we will not be able to address the second.
Third, this is a result of a failure of academia. The government failed the government. The government failed the police. The government failed the police. The government failed the police. The government failed the police. The government failed the police.
In the next 12 months, the government needs to address its failings. It needs to take responsibility when it fails to protect its citizens. It needs to take responsibility when it is not educating its citizens. It needs to take responsibility when it fails to train its police. It needs to take responsibility when it does not take action