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[Editorial] Investigation into "Cash for Summit Scandal" at Third Anniversary of Summit

[Editorial] Investigation into "Cash for Summit Scandal" at Third Anniversary of Summit

Posted June. 15, 2003 22:05,   


Appearing on TV yesterday, marking the third anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit meeting, former President Kim Dae-jung concluded that the 2000 summit was historic and showed he did not budge at all from his previous view that the secret payment to Pyongyang should not be a subject of the Judiciary’s ruling. The former is based on his confidence in political legitimacy of the summit meeting and the latter the position that he should receive immunity for ruling activities.

However, both cannot justify restricting an independent prosecutor’s investigation. It is the Judiciary that should decide whether to consider the secret payment a ruling activity and whether to give the former president immunity. Therefore, the independent prosecutor should just find out whether it is legal or not. And the independent prosecutor was appointed to investigate the inappropriate means used to achieve the 2000 inter-Korean summit, rather than the significance and outcome of it. In other words, the purpose of his probe is to decide whether the procedure of the summit is legal, not whether the "cash for summit scandal" can be justified.

For the past three years, suspicions surrounding the cash for summit scandal have rocked Korean society and caused conflicts and hostility. To heal the wound, the suspicions should be dispelled. Therefore, an independent prosecutor was appointed to do that job.

Yet, if the independent prosecutor`s probe ended without any results due to outside pressure, then what would happen? It would lead to the intensification of the conflicts and division. In particular, at a time when tensions are rising on the Korean Peninsula, the independent counsel`s investigation is all the more important as part of a whole review of North Korea policy.

The independent prosecutor`s team seems to have gotten to the bottom of the scandal. However, some ruling party members are pressuring the team to finish the probe to the extent that they seem not to understand the rule of law. Even they seem to oppose the probe with some ulterior motives. Moreover, some Cheong Wa Dae officials drew the line for the investigation and subjects of judicial judgment. All the truth should be revealed regarding the secret transfer to Pyongyang. This will also benefit the current government.