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[Editorial] Content of Transcripts Show Possibility of Many Illegal Activities

[Editorial] Content of Transcripts Show Possibility of Many Illegal Activities

Posted December. 01, 2002 22:59,   


Another document presented by the Grand National Party (GNP) to back up its allegation of the nation’s top intelligence agency’s engagement in illegal bugging activities contains a lot of behind-the-scenes deals between well-placed government officials and pro-government party members. Though such wiretapping activities themselves are illegal, the more serious problem is what the transcripts show. Those involved in tit-for-tat deals related to personnel affairs and interference in investigations should be call to account.

Take the conversation between Park Ji-won, then presidential special advisor, and Lee Jae-shin, a senior presidential secretary. According to the document, Park conveyed President Kim’s opinion that Lee Su-dong should be indicted and under investigation without physical detention. In response, Lee Jae-shin said that he was trying to contact the independent prosecutor, Cha Jeong-il. If the document proves true, it is proof that at the request of the President, the office of the president tried to be involved in the independent prosecutor’s investigation. In some telephone conversations, lawmakers of the pro-government Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) asked presidential secretaries and ministers to help their acquaintances get a job in high places in state-owned corporations. If those telephone calls prove true, it could explain why there was a lot of noise about personnel affairs in such government-owned companies.

Those who got phone calls in the document admitted the conversations, but only MDP members and government officials, who were the callers according to the document denied the calls. It is not so difficult to prove which side is right. Whether it is a cellular phone or a fixed-line phone, the phone calls are recorded on a computer, with the number of those who got the calls and the time. Though they could deny the content of the conversation, they couldn’t say that they didn’t call at all.

Shin Kuhn, chief of the state intelligence agency is raising a possibility that a private intelligence team conducted the wiretapping activities. If his guess is right, it could be translated into a serious flaw in national security. We cannot but ask how the National Intelligence Service (NIS) let these things happen.

The Prosecution should not reduce this incident to simple libel and slander cases. It should free the public from the fear of wiretapping by getting to the bottom of the incident, which smacks of political maneuvering.