Go to contents

[Editorials] Clarification of Speculations Behind Choi Do-sul Comes First

[Editorials] Clarification of Speculations Behind Choi Do-sul Comes First

Posted October. 14, 2003 22:54,   


The first reason President Roh Moo-hyun gave for proposing a national referendum was the speculation of Choi Do-sul’s (one of President Roh’s closest associates) involvement with corruption and the resulting public distrust. Just as President Roh admitted, the alleged involvement of Choi with corruption is directly connected with the president’s sense of morality.

Prosecutors are speculating that the 1.1 billion won Choi received from SK was used to pay off debts acquired during the presidential elections. The public is carefully watching and waiting the prosecutor’s final judgment to see whether President Roh had any knowledge and any part in this illegal transaction. Clarifying explicitly the doubts behind this case should come before judging President Roh’s political responsibility.

President Roh publicly apologized, “I had shamelessly handled any other previous speculations of corruption by the people around me. However, this [Choi’s] case is one that takes the words away from my mouth.” The current evidence alone is enough to describe how serious the speculation that Choi is facing. The shock it has brought upon the political arena and to the public is immensely serious as well. It is unavoidable to question if the speculation Choi is currently facing is worth giving up the presidency. The opposition party, the Grand National Party, is claiming that calling for a national referendum is President Roh’s “political move” to cover up the seriousness of this political mess. Congressman Choi Byung-ryul, chairman of The Grand National Party, stated in Congress that “in the case that President Roh had some kind of involvement with the corruption speculations Choi Do-sul is currently charged with, it is not a problem that will be solved through a national referendum but one that can only be solved through impeachment.”

Choi Do-sul is one of President Roh’s closest aides. He has managed President Roh’s funds for twenty years. During the presidential elections, Choi was the accounting manager for the Busan Campaign. The main focus of this case is to clarify whether or not (and if yes, how) President Roh was involved with Choi’s acceptance of illegal money from corporations. Prosecutors must explicitly clarify the truth, without any sense of doubt, and nothing but the truth should be behind this case.

The current situation has all its fingers pointing at the speculation of whether or not President Roh had any direct or indirect involvement with Choi Do-sul’s acceptance of illegal money. This is a situation in which President Roh must humbly spare his words for even the slightest comment concerning this case could lead to suspicions that he has intentions to use his presidential influence to sway the outcome of this case.