firmly in place has been confirmed through an abundance of historical evidence.
Reckless lawmakers 
Kim Seon-dong from the Democratic Labor Party brought a tear gas canister into a plenary session of the National Assembly and set it off when lawmakers gathered to pass the bills for the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. After being dragged from the floor, he said that he wanted to "blow up the parliament." Main opposition Democratic Party members yelled with fists and tears in protest against the ratification. Their anger apparently preceded rational thinking. Their behaviors were shameful as a representative of the people.
Throwing tear gas is not only an act of terror but also denial of parliamentary democracy
The law stipulates the members of the National Assembly should maintain their dignity. Although the law does not go further to define the "dignity," they should act in a respectable manner. Throwing a tear gas canister is far from an act of dignity. Article 148 of the National Assembly Law bans lawmakers from bringing in anything or food that may obstruct a parliamentary meeting. Tear gas is a lethal weapon that should not be brought into the parliament and set off to hinder the legislative proceedings.
Strictly saying, Kim`s throwing a tear gas canister and threatening to blow up the National Assembly is far more than an act of terrorism. It is a denial of parliamentary democracy. He proudly likened his action to Yoon Bong-gil`s assassination attempt with a lunch-box bomb about a century ago. However, how can the act of anger against the majority party`s power to push through bills be the same as those of the brave patriots fighting for the nation`s independence under the Japanese colonial rule? Kim`s low intelligence corresponds with his party`s argument against the FTA. If the party`s leadership was aware of his plan in advance, it should be regarded as conspiracy. Not preventing the action can be interpreted as granting it.
The opposition party members` anger of yelling with tears and fists reflect their understanding of the FTA. They justify any kind of violence such as occupying the parliament and throwing a tear gas canister for the sake of killing a bill that they don`t like. Do they really believe that they should achieve their goals in whatever means and at whatever costs?
Have the lawmakers fulfill their duty in accordance with national interest and conscience?
The fracas seen at the parliamentary vote on the U.S.-Korea FTA on November 22, 2011, is a reminder of the groundless rumors and demagoguery when the trade talks started several years ago. The opponents are anti-American, anti-Lee Myung-bak, anti-GNP, and anti-business to the core. Export growth, job creation and better living standards are not on their list. What`s left for them is irrational anger, nearly lunacy. They cheered the tear-gas thrower as heroic as independent fighters, a sign of infantilism. They also spread rumors like children that the FTA will make South Korea subject to the U.S. and increase the surgery costs many times. They once strongly supported the talks proposed by former President Roh Moo-hyun but suddenly changed their position with conservative Lee Myung-bak taking the power, now blaming the deal as a move to sell out the country. They branded the diplomats staying up many nights at the negotiation tables for the sake of the national interest as a traitor. How irresponsible, irrational, violent and childish they are!
The ruling party was not safe from the blame as some of its members opposed the deal or refrained from casting a vote. Of course, South Korea is not a dictatorial state like North Korea and one can vote at his own will in a democratic parliament. However, it is a pity that a ruling party lawmaker has opposed the FTA for the sake of his constituents, mostly farmers in Hongcheon. He ignored his duty as a representative to serve national interest. Those abstaining from the vote were as much negligent as they cared more about the minority`s call for peaceful proceedings than national interest. Both opponents and abstainers ignored the Article 46 of the Constitution that the members of the National Assembly shall fulfill their duty with national interest as priority and in accordance with their conscience.
The voters want a parliament led by rational debate
The ruling party is now delaying its call for punishment on Kim in fear of backlash after forcefully pushing the FTA bills through. The terrorism with tear gas occurred because those who previously used chain saws, sledgehammers and other violent means to obstruct the parliamentary proceedings were not penalized. If Kim gets away with it, the parliament will see more terrible violence with lawmakers blowing up tear gas canisters and other lethal weapons. Attributing the opposition parties, the need to pass next year`s budget, or nearly the end of a term is nothing but an excuse and cannot be justified. The ruling party, as a group of lawyers and lawmakers, should set an example by complying with the National Assembly Law to show that everybody is equal before the law.
Actor Yoo Ah-in said in twitter that lawmakers` job is to ensure a happy life for the people. This must be what average citizens want for the lawmakers. They wish a parliament led by rational debate on how to make the people happy, rather than a parliament filled with tear gas and yelling. With the 18th National Assembly nearing an end, both the ruling and opposition parties should remember the people`s wish. Otherwise, they have no future.
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