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"If I Divulge, the Whole Nation Will Crumble”

Posted July. 26, 2005 03:08,   


In an interview with a few reporters on July 24, the former manager of Mirim Team, a team in charge of the bugging at the National Security Planning Agency (NSPA) said that no press corporations would be safe when he started talking.

It is often the case that similar remarks appear almost in every large-scale scandal, but only few of them have actually set off an explosive announcement, though they apparently succeeded in drawing attention.

Jang Se-dong, the former NSPA chief during the Chun Doo-hwan administration, was a good example.

Jang, who was taken into custody three times at the end of the Chun Doo-hwan administration, shouted threats at congressmen in the hearing to debunk scandals related to the Chun Doo-hwan administration, saying that when he started talking, the whole nation would be in a serious danger.

Chun also said in the hearing that he hoped both congressmen and people would understand that when he started talking regarding the political fund, it would only create another beginning of the past history judgment instead of finishing it.

Also, Park Chul-un, once called a prince in the Roh Tae-woo administration, warned that when he revealed the back story of former party leader Kim Young-sam’s party merger in 1990, Kim’s political life could end overnight.

This doesn’t only apply to politicians. When a scandal related to a special favor related to the distribution of the Suseo area broke in 1991, Chung Tae-su, the former CEO of the Hanbo group, refused to testify in the investigation by the prosecution, saying that when he started talking, the whole nation would crumble.

Jang Young-ja, who was taken into custody for bill fraud during the Chun Doo-hwan administration, said in prison in 1989 to congressmen at a hearing that she had a lot to say only if she was determined. Her remarks clearly drew enormous attention.

During the Kim Dae-Jung administration, people concerned with the so-called “three gates” (Jeong Hyun-jun, Jin Seung-hyun, and Lee Yong-ho) also warned of explosive announcements in trials or prosecution investigations.

Jeong even threatened to trace all his money and disclose everyone who played a game with his money. He added that the world would be surprised to know who joined his fund.

Those closely related to “Jin Seung-hyun gate” all said that they would reveal everything in due course, and that the information revealed up until then was just the tip of the iceberg, creating a lot of fuss.

Such threatening remarks did draw a lot of public attention, but most chose not to say anything with no apparent reasons.

Oh Seok-hong (department of public administration), an honorary professor at Seoul National University, explained that those connected to big scandals tended to make such remarks rather than to attack others due to the psychological instinct for self-protection. The professor added that the reason why most remarks didn’t lead to an actual disclosure was partly because people were afraid of future retaliation, but mostly because they were just bluffing.