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[Opinion] `Great Outcry over the Nation`

Posted December. 18, 2001 09:21,   


November 17, 1905, after Japan concluded the protection treaty that deprived Korea of its right of foreign diplomacy. At the time, Chang Chi-yeon, head of the `Hwang Sung Shinmun` wrote an editorial piece titled `A National Outcry Over Japanese Injustice`, telling the world of the treaty`s injustice, and severely criticized Lee Wan-yong and the five complicit government ministers.

"How can the subordinates to His Imperial Majesty dare to sign the treaty when His Majesty strongly refused it. These subordinates are the same as dogs and swine. How will they ever bring themselves to face His Majesty and their twenty million fellow subjects?"

Now that the virtue and credibility of the Kim Dae Jung administration have fallen, must not a person within its fold cry out loud?

"How can the subordinates make corruption their work when the President is anxious to make reforms. These subjects are no different than tricksters. How will they ever bring themselves to face the President and 40 million fellow citizens?"

Alas, there is no outcry but only lies and flattery abound. It is a tragedy.

The head of Central Investigations in the Public Prosecutors Office, the government official who is responsible for uprooting organized crime, and Shin Kwang-Ok, the former vice minister of the Ministry of Justice who also served as the Presidential Civil Government Secretary General – the office responsible for cleaning up government corruption, say that they have never seen Mr. Jin of the famous `Jin Seung Hyun Gate`. They even said, "If we received even spare change, we will commit suicide by disembowelment." Yet, Mr. Jin who has received a seven year sentence claims that he met Mr. Shin several times in May of last year. May be that was why. The former vice minister of justice changed his story overnight, that he does not remember every meeting Mr. Jin.

Mr. Shin`s relationship between his lobbyist Choi Taek-Gon, a former member of the Democratic Party, is also suspicious. Mr. Shin claims that he met Mr. Choi four or five times during his terms as the Presidential Secretary General to hear latest developments in the world. Yet, Mr. Choi claims that he and Mr. Shin have known each other for seven years. Even if Mr. Shin really did meet him only four or five times, what business did the Secretary General have to meet that often with the nominal vice chairman of the Democratic Party`s special education commission? The Public Prosecutors Office seems to have concluded that Mr. Shin received one hundred million won from Mr. Choi not in one installment, but 2 to 3 million won over several different times. If they are right, the reason why Mr. Shin met Mr. Choi is obvious.

At one time, Mr. Choi worked for Kwon Noh-Gap, the former advisor to the MDP. He was fellow classmates with the President`s oldest son, Kim Hong-Il. Mr. Choi is said to have used the names of these influential men to his advantage. That may also account for the frequent meetings between Mr. Shin and Mr. Choi. Then again, Mr. Choi used the names of two Kims to go in and out of the Public Prosecutors Office. May be his influence reached the Cheong Wa Dae as well.

There is another figure whose name was leaked, Kim Eun-Sung, second assistant director of the National Intelligence Service. Mr. Kim, who participated in the 1997 administration transfer committee, became the number two man in the NIS. The head of the NIS at the time was Lim Dong-Won, the `Sunshine missionary` who is now the Presidential Foreign Security Unification Advisor. One NIS official reportedly handed over most of the NIS responsibilities to Kim Eun-Sung during the time due to the North Korea issue which Mr. Lim promoted. Then, the head of the finances department under Mr. Kim was found to have received 5.5 million won related to the `Chung Hyun-Joon Gate` and the vice director of the finance department was found to have received 146 million won from the `Jin Gate` after which both were arrested. This shows that the NIS served as the base for the lobbying activities of all these `gates`.

But the central figure under suspicion here is not the NIS second assistant director. If he made the `Jin Seung-Hyun List` and pressured the leadership of the administration and the Public Prosecutors Office, the main concern should be finding the person who made set this in motion in the first place.

All sorts of `gates` are cropping up everywhere and more questions and suspicions arise after every night. It has gotten to a point where one has to organize who is connected to what gate. What light is there at the end of the tunnel for this administration when members of the Cheong Wa Dae, NIS, prosecutors office, and the MDP are grouping together to control districts and create all kinds of havoc while its leaders continue to talk about reform and something or other without noticing the rot stinking under their own noses? Who will listen even if there is an outcry? It is a national tragedy.

Chun Jin-Woo (Editorial Staff Writer)