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[Editorial] AP Video Creates Suspicion, Demands for Truth

[Editorial] AP Video Creates Suspicion, Demands for Truth

Posted June. 24, 2004 21:31,   


Suspicions are aroused after the Associated Press (AP) reported that after obtaining Kim Sun-il’s videotape, the AP called for confirmation of Kim’s abduction. Though revealing the truth won’t bring Kim back to life, the truth must be closely examined to prevent further tragedies and protect Korean nationals abroad.

The fact that the government wasn’t informed about the abduction for three weeks is problem enough. However, how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) reacted is more of a problem. The AP reported that although they asked MOFAT about Kim’s abduction, the response was: “There is no Korean abducted.” With Kim identifying himself and saying that he had stayed in Iraq for six months, if the government had hurried to verify, Kim’s abduction could have been discovered and acted upon a lot sooner.

How the video scandal is becoming complicated between MOFAT and the AP is hard to understand. Now that the AP has affirmed that they made their inquiry on June 3, it’s MOFAT’s turn to make clear who answered the phone and how he or she responded to it.

The discord between the United States and Korea followed by the government’s inadequate reaction is also a problem. Let’s just turn away from the fact that the government didn’t find out about the abduction because of a falsehood told by Kim Chun-ho, the president of Gana Trade Company, which Kim Sun-il worked for. Why is Kim Chun-ho’s lie that the U.S. Army told him about the abduction becoming a misunderstanding that the U.S Army intentionally hid Kim’s abduction, worrying that it might have a bad influence on the dispatch of Korean forces to Iraq? The government’s inadequate reaction is damaging the relationship between Korea and the U.S.

MOFAT should tell the truth. To prevent another mistake like this, they should admit their mistake, and make clear who is responsible. They should recognize people’s indignation over the poor protection of Korean nationals abroad, and the probability that the tragedy wouldn’t have happened if only the government had reacted appropriately.