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"Dejavu In 5 Years…"

Posted May. 17, 2002 09:17,   


Citizens felt both disappointed and intricate, as they witnessed president Kim Dae-Jung’s 3rd son Hong-Gul appearing before the prosecution on the 16th.

It has been 5 years since former president Kim Young-Sam’s second son Hyeon-Chul was summoned to the prosecution, and yet, another first-son has been called in.

O…Hong-Gul faced chief prosecutor Yim Sang-Gil, vice-director of Special Division 2, on the 11th floor of Seoul District Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is located in Seocho-gu, Seocho-dong, Seoul, on the day. He seemed little relaxed than the previous day, when he expressed anxiety through tears at a relative’s house. He looked tired, but responded to the investigation calmly.

O…Hong-Gul arrived at the prosecution building on a black Dynasty sedan with lawyer Cho Seok-Hyun at 10 O’clock in the morning. He was without separate attendants.

Although he made an effort to seem calm in a black suit, he was unable to hide perplexity as 200 reporters simultaneously opened their camera flash after he walked in.

When reporters asked him to `express the present feelings`, he responded, “I am sorry. I am ashamed of myself before my parents. I also feel sorry before the citizens,” and immediately went up to the prosecutor’s office on elevator.

Around the prosecution building, there were many foreign press reporters, who participated in fierce coverage competition with domestic reporters. Broadcasting stations mobilized 10 broadcast-vehicles and helicopters to cover Hong-Gul’s appearance live.

O…Cheong Wa Dae, the Millennium Democratic Party, and press Internet bulletins were filled citizens’ messages to urge countermeasures.

A netizen, who identified as `a citizen`, uploaded a message at Cheong Wa Dae’s website to urge, “The president should humbly clarify all truth and ask forgiveness during the left-over period of the term.”

A citizen with ID `Gwanghae-Daegun` left a message at Donga.Com website and said, “ It was president Kim, who said that `child’s fault is father’s fault` to former president Kim Young-Sam 5 years ago… This is how history goes round and round.”

O…“President Kim must show self-reflection about the fact that he let the scandal come this far. The prosecution must reveal all suspicions that were brought up so far, and fairly punish all illegal activities according to the laws, ”said Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice in its statement issued on the day.

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy also insisted through its commentary, “Another scene of a presidential son’s appearance before the prosecution gave the citizens big disappointment and anger. All authoritative institutions must establish measures to eradicate corruption”

Dong-Yong Min Jung-Eun Lee mindy@donga.com lightee@donga.com