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[Editorial] Is It True That Vice-Chief of the National Intelligence Service `Assaulted` Someone?

[Editorial] Is It True That Vice-Chief of the National Intelligence Service `Assaulted` Someone?

Posted November. 14, 2001 09:05,   


It is shocking to hear reports that the second vice-chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Kim Eun-Sung assaulted the former president of MCI Korea Kim Jae-Hwan in relation to the `Jin Seung-Hyun Gate`. When vice-chief Kim Eun-Sung worked at the Central Intelligence Agency, he was known to have been in close relationship with Kim Jae-Hwan who used to be a member of the NIS. Moreover, vice-chief Kim aroused suspicion as his contact with Kim Jae-Hwan was reported when the Jin Seung-Hyun Gate was creating a stir. With the report that vice-chief Kim, with his subordinates, assaulted Kim Jae-Hwan at a hotel room in late February, the suspicion is growing.

Of course, vice-chief Kim is denying the report. He claimed through the NIS information office that the report is groundless, and he had no reason to assault Kim by mobilizing his subordinates. Regarding the report that although the NIS investigated the incident, it was covered up and an official of inspection was demoted, the NIS argued that it was only `a part of the regular personnel management`.

We hope that vice-chief Kim`s explanation is true. If the report is true, Kim`s case is an incident that harms the government reputation and disgrace the NIS. Moreover, it is a case that requires the reexamination of the qualification of high-ranking government officials and the consideration of the criminal punishment. On the contrary, if the report is false, it is also problematic.

The government and the NIS have the responsibilities of investigating the case thoroughly in order not to arouse public suspicion and of recovering honor. Therefore, we urge chief of the NIS Shin Gunn to reveal the truth by investigating the report and `vice-chief Kim`s explanation`. The NIS should not give an impression that it is circumventing the truth for the sake of the NIS when the opposition party issues a statement regarding this issue and the case is getting coverage in the newspapers.

Vice-chief Kim is not denying the fact that he, as an incumbent official, met with Kim Jae-Hwan in the midst of `Jin Seung-Hyun Gate`. People want to know whether such a meeting is appropriate and legal. Vice-chief Kim said that he met with Kim Jae-Hwan to warn him since Kim was spreading the `rumor`. However, did vice-chief Kim have to meet Kim Jae-Hwan at that time risking social scowl. It is hard to understand whether that was an appropriate behavior suitable to the duty and work of vice-chief of the NIS. Also, it should be revealed whether the NIS internally investigated the `assault incident`, and if it did take place, what was the conclusion. To clearly explain the reports and suspicion is crucial for the trust in the government and the reputation of the NIS.