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“Powerful Committee” Puts Brakes on Building Security Facility

“Powerful Committee” Puts Brakes on Building Security Facility

Posted May. 30, 2005 03:28,   


It was discovered that the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative (PCNACI), which raised controversy over improper support for the Haengdam Island development project, had exercised its authority by putting the brakes on a national security-related facility construction work.

According to Dong-A Ilbo’s exclusive report on May 29, it was found out that the PCNACI demanded the Ministry of National Defense (MND) to suspend its submarine communications center project being promoted to be built at a site in South Jeolla Province by sending an official document on “an assistance request for naval facilities-related businesses” to the MND last July 30 because the MND’s project overlapped the S project.

Actually, it was revealed that the submarine communications center project had been suspended for two to three months.

Regarding this, there is a controversy over whether the presidential advisory organ exceeded its own authority as an “advisory service for the president” in requesting the stoppage of a project put forward by a governmental policy-related ministry.

It was just articulated in the Article 12 of current PCNACI’s provision (a presidential decree) that “In performing their roles, committees may employ other interested public servants or experts to hear their opinions and to demand them to submit data and their views to institutions or groups concerned.”

The PCNACI made clear through an official document that “it was concerned about the squandering of the nation’s finances, because the S project currently in progress in accordance with a presidential notice dated June 11, 2004 (title: Notice in Reporting the Southwestern Coastal Area Development Plan) would possibly overlap with the naval communications center project the MND was promoting,” and that “until October, when detailed plans for the S project would be expected to be made, suspension of the MND’s project was required.”

Another official in the MND said, “There is nothing wrong in building the submarine communications center, as the importance of the project is now well known to the PCNACI, Cheong Wa Dae, and residents of the area,” adding, “The center will be completed June through August in 2006.”

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com