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Impossible to Blame Anyone for Social Atmosphere

Posted June. 28, 2004 22:26,   


“It is not acceptable to lay the blame anyone due to the social atmosphere when it has yet to be revealed where the responsibility lies,” said President Roh Moo-hyun on Monday, regarding the spread of calls to reprimand the foreign affairs and security staffs in the wake of the Kim Sun-il case.

“As the Board of Audit and Inspection launches its investigation to clarify where the responsibility lies and whether there are mistakes in the government’s response, I hope not to raise the issue of responsibility until the investigation is completed,” presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young quoted President Roh Moo-hyun as saying during a meeting with presidential advisors and aides on this day.

“My position is to inquire clearly into the truth and to sternly call those in charge to account,” said President Roh, adding, “That means I will call those who are responsible to account, and I won’t do that to those who are not.”

“When you judge whether the staff who received the call from the Associated Press adequately responded, the contents of the information conveyed are important,” Roh said about the Foreign Ministry official’s receiving calls from the AP inquiring about the kidnapping in Iraq of Kim Sun-il. Roh gave instructions to thoroughly investigate how the AP had interpreted the information.

Roh then said, “The investigation should not assume there were faults due to the social atmosphere; simply look into the case with evenhandedness, calm, objectivity, and rigor,” adding, “It was neither proper nor suited to government principles for the AP not to investigate and publicize related matters when it announced it had made a call to the Ministry.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com