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Simultaneous Warning to the Army and the Military Prosecution

Simultaneous Warning to the Army and the Military Prosecution

Posted December. 15, 2004 22:52,   


Concerning the investigation on the corruption scandal related to the promotion screening process of army generals, President Roh stated yesterday, “The practice in which the investigation status is revealed to the public so that it bolsters an investigation is neither appropriate nor legitimate.”

President Roh made clear as above while receiving an operational report from Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung at Cheong Wa Dae yesterday morning, but he stressed, “Investigation conducted according to legitimate procedures should be guaranteed.”

President Roh’s remark seems to be a warning to both the Defense Ministry’s prosecutors, who are facing friction with the army in the course of the corruption investigation regarding army promotion and leaking investigation status to the press, and the army, which is uncooperative with the investigation.

Public Information Officer Shin Hyun-don of the Defense Ministry said that President Roh subsequently said, “I have firm trust for and expectations of the military, and I asked Minister Yoon to take care of this matter well responsibly.”

Minister Yoon conveyed the president’s remark at a conference of major commanders of the entire military held at the Defense Ministry’s building located in Yongsan-gu, Seoul with Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Kim Jong-hwan, the chiefs of the general staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and commander-class major executives attending.

Before the event, the Army’s Chief of General Staff Nam Jae-jun shared opinions on the corruption scandal with Vice Minister Yoo Hyo-il as he went to his official residence in Seoul from the Army headquarters in Gyeryongdae, South Chungcheong Province to attend a luncheon sponsored by the USFK on December 13.

It was known that Vice Minister Yoo visited Chief Nam’s official residence in Seoul that day and said, “It is not desirable that the military prosecutors’ disclosure of investigation status and the army’s retaliation is seen as a mutual conflict,” and Chief Nam replied, “I will take ‘necessary measures’ after watching the development of the military prosecution results.”

The general interpretation within and outside the military of “necessary measures” in Nam’s comment is that the Army will actively clarify or retaliate in the legal offense and defense process in the court rather than acknowledge the military prosecution results and revise the inappropriate personnel affairs system.

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com