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Ex-Pres. Secretary Sued for Spreading Cheonan Rumors

Posted May. 08, 2010 07:35,   


A criminal investigation began Friday on a former senior presidential secretary who allegedly spread false rumors on the sinking of the naval patrol ship Cheonan.

The Seoul Central Prosecutors` Office began investigating Park Seon-won, who served as senior presidential secretary for unification, foreign affairs and national security strategy under the Roh Moo-hyun administration.

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young filed a libel suit against Park for spreading false rumors on the sinking.

On an MBC radio program April 22, Park said, “It’s difficult to say the U.S. has information (South) Korea doesn’t have, but what`s clear is that the U.S. has information we have but hasn’t made it public.”

Defense Minister Kim and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Lee Sang-eui filed a complaint against Park April 27.

Returning from the U.S. after working as a visiting researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Park said, “I asked for the disclosure of information for a transparent and impartial investigation into the cause of the Cheonan sinking,” adding, “The libel suit seeks to silence public suspicion over the incident.”

Because the suit is related to national security, prosecutors classified it as a public security case. One prosecutor said, “Among libel and other cases on the spread of false rumors on the Cheonan incident, 10 that happened offline or under police investigation are being handled by our public security department, and other cases that occurred online are being dealt with by our high-tech crime department.”