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[Editorial] President Kim Should Lay Bare Truth First

Posted February. 04, 2003 22:48,   


When President Kim Dae-jung said that judicial judgment is not proper in the case of Hyundai Merchant Marine`s secret transfer to the North, he made a premise that it is so if the money was spent on inter-Korean economic cooperation projects. He meant that though the amount of 200 million dollars (about 223.5 billion won) was offered to the North, the transfer should be taken lightly if it is good for inter-Korean relations and national interests.

Now, however, South Korean people do not know whether the 200 million dollars were actually used for North-South joint economic projects or it was funneled into other channels. Prosecutors should get to the bottom though investigations. But they decided to defer its investigation, following President Kim`s position and what President-elect Roh Moo-hyun calls "political solution," which seems to take the outgoing president into account.

Against this backdrop, it is reasonable for the outgoing president lay bare the whole truth surrounding the secret transfer before "political solution." He should do so before the public as the chief executive of the government.

Suspicions are arising in two ways. The first is for what the 200 billion dollars were offered to the North, and the second is why the Kim Dae-jung government has kept it secret. Hyundai and the North argue that the money is for economic cooperation, as if they associated with each other in their saying. But the proof of their argument is uncertain. So, the allegations of behind-the-scenes deals for inter-Korean summit meeting in June 2000 have now escalated into allegations of maneuvering to win the Nobel peace prize. The allegation that President Kim made a secret payment to hold the summit, which was eventually intended for a Nobel prize, could hurt Korean People`s honor whether it is true or not.

In addition, there is a possibility that the money could be funneled into nuclear weapons development and in this respect this is a sensitive issue for the international community. Therefore, outgoing President Kim should clear concerns at home and abroad by disclosing the whole truth to the extent of people`s full understanding. Is this his last duty to the public? Political solution should come after this. We hope President Kim`s quick decision to do so.