Recently, we heard bad news in our country. The first story was a titanic one. On Friday night, the navy patrol ship ‘Cheonan’ was tore in two following an unexplained explosion and sank in the western sea. The ship, which weighed 1,200 tons, was carrying 104 crew members. After the accident, 58 sailors had been rescued by the coast guard within one hour.
But 46 sailors are still missing, and they are believed to have been trapped inside the Cheonan. Hoping that they are still alive, military and civilian divers are frantically conducting underwater searches and rescue operations. But the condition under water is making it difficult for the rescue divers. It’s due to strong tidal currents in the western sea. Family members of the missing sailors are desperately waiting for their sons or brothers to be rescued. Unconfirmed speculations are raising confusion among people.
Military authorities are saying that the exact cause of the explosion can be determined only after the stern of the sunken ship is salvaged and thoroughly investigated. The Cheonan case is the worst naval tragedy case in Korea since 1974. In February 1974, 159 people (109 of the Navy and 50 of the maritime police) died after a naval ship was caught in strong winds and sank off the southeast coast.
Even before the first shock vanished, other shocking news covered all the mass media. Actor Choi Jin-young, younger brother of the late actress Choi Jin-sil, was found dead by hanging himself by electric wire on Monday afternoon. Already, people are creating rumors about the reasons for his suicide on the Web. They should know that their crazy stories about other people influenced his sister’s suicide.
How tragic! More importantly, we have to respect their family’s feelings. We shouldn’t insult the dead with nasty rumors. We have to calm down and have a realistic view about the situation. Those accidents are not a subject to be treated as some cheap gossip, but a subject to be treated carefully and with respect to the other family members.
The cover story for this issue of the magazine covered the recent earthquakes. In February 2010, the catastrophic earthquake damaged Haiti. And then another one hit Chile. Some people may think that this is bit late to cover the story. But when it comes to the safety of the nation, it is never too late. Two reporters of the UOS Times thoroughly researched the potential threat of earthquakes in Korea. Let’s take the time to think about how safe we are in Korea from such tragedies, and be grateful for the loved ones and future opportunities that we have!!