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Politicians Say, “Go to the Bottom of the Wiretapping Allegation.”

Politicians Say, “Go to the Bottom of the Wiretapping Allegation.”

Posted November. 29, 2002 22:52,   


On Nov.29, the Grand National party and the Millennium Democratic party have urged that the government should reach the bottom of the fact with respect to the alleged evidence of an illegal wiretapping of politicians conducted by the National Intelligence Service, launch an investigation and punish people related with the allegation. As a result, political tensions are mounting over the evidence of the illegal wiretapping.

The opposition Grand National Party staged an all-out offensive against President Kim Dae-jung, demanding that the president should apologize the nation in person for the wiretapping case and dismiss Sin Gun, the head of the National Intelligence Service.

In response to the opposition party’s move, the ruling party accused that the opposition party has been using the groundless wiretapping accusation as a negative political campaign. And while the ruling party urged the opposition party to reveal the source and the author of the document, it is also demanding the government of the revelation of the truth.

Rep. Chung-won of the GNP said in the party’s presidential strategy meeting, “The president should apologize for the wiretapping case in person because indiscriminate wiretappings go against the principle of democracy.” And he requested, “The President should order the ban on departure from the country for Park Ji-won, Chung Wa Dae chief of staff who are accused for the main source of political manipulations, remove the head of the intelligence agency from his position for the wiretapping and a negative political campaign and order prosecutors to launch an investigation immediately.’

Lee Hoi-chang, the GNP’s presidential candidate, said during his street election campaign held in front of a department store in Chung Chung province, “With the discloser of the document containing the evidence of wiretapping on Lee In-je, the rival to Roh Moo-hyun in the primaries, it is sure that Roh Moo-hyun illegally benefited from the wiretapping in defeating Lee during the primaries. Therefore, the MDP’s presidential candidate should withdraw his bid for presidency because how such a dishonest person can lead the nation.”

Han Wha-gab, the head of the ruling party, insisted during a ceremony for the launch of the presidential election preparation committee held in Won-Joo, one of Korea’s Northern Provinces, “If the allegation is true, the GNP should bring the case to prosecutors and officially call for an investigation into the case,” adding that “If the opposition party fails to do so, the ruling party will take the allegation as a political maneuvering by the GNP for a political gain.”

Jung Dae-chul, the president of the MDP’s presidential election committee, said, “Not only the intelligence agency but also the government should try to shed the light on the allegation,” suggesting the formation of a fact-finding committee lead by the National Intelligence Committee.

Rep. Kim Won-ki and Lee Kang-rae of the MDP who were mentioned in the document presented by the GNP, sued Kim Young-gil, the secretary general of the GNP for libel by publications with the Seoul Prosecutor’s Office. They said, “It is certain that the document was fabricated with the aim of defeating the ruling party’s presidential candidate in the upcoming election.”

Yeon-Wook Jung Jeong-Hun Kim jyw11@donga.com jnghn@donga.com