Go to contents

Defense Ministry Prosecution in Frontal Conflict with Military Once Again

Defense Ministry Prosecution in Frontal Conflict with Military Once Again

Posted December. 24, 2004 22:24,   


The prosecution office of the Defense Ministry announced on December 24 that all 52 personnel members promoted to brigadier generals were designated in October’s military generals’ promotion and personnel management. Also announced was that some personnel documents of the promotion candidates were manipulated or erased so that all of the selected could be promoted at the promotion selection judging committee.

Head of the prosecution office Kim Seok-young (Air Force Colonel) held a press conference at the Defense Ministry that day and announced the office’s investigation results summarized as above regarding the corruption case of military generals’ promotions.

However, following the announcement, the military completely refuted the results. The prospect is that the conflicts regarding the corruption charges will not subside easily any time soon.

In particular, the fact that both parties are still showing conspicuous conflict with each other despite many high-level warnings has stirred up issues of both the degradation of discipline as well as disorder in the command structure. President Roh Moo-hyun, the supreme power in the military forces, has warned both the prosecution and the military, and Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-woong has removed from office the prosecutor who was resisting the minister’s decision to decline the warrants.

The prosecution in the army indicted Lieutenant Colonel Cha, promotion chief clerk at the military headquarters, and Lieutenant Colonel Joo, secretary of the personnel verification committee, with physical restraint, for charges of interference of governmental performance and duties by forging official documents and using fraudulent stratagem. Also indicted was Brigadier General Lee, manager of personnel management, and Colonel Chang, a member of personnel verification committee, without physical restraint.

Regarding the actions, Kim Kwang-hyun, office head of troop information and education and public information (brigadier general) in the military headquarters, came all the way from his station in Chungnam Gyerongdae to the ministry’s press room in Seoul and criticized, “The investigation results announced by the prosecution are different from the reality, and they misunderstood some procedural customs of promotion, and announced it as what they think it is.”

Kim emphasized, “We are deeply concerned that the whole military will be viewed as breeding grounds for corruption and absurdities because of this case, and we will stand up to the truth at the court about this.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com