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[Opinion] Defending the Achievements of the Former Administration

[Opinion] Defending the Achievements of the Former Administration

Posted August. 23, 2005 03:28,   


“It is our aspiration that you would continue to guide us, as a dependable elder of our nation and a strong supporter of national stability.” Around the time of former President Kim Dae-jung’s discharge from the hospital, Uri Party spokesman Jun Byung-hun wrote a “heartwarming commentary.” It would have been regarded as a simple sign of respect toward a former national leader had it ended there, but that was not the gist of the commentary. “We will make right the means and ends, to make sure that the works of former President Kim Dae-jung, who would have been deeply hurt by this case, and the people’s government, are not hidden.”

What is this supposed to mean?

Actually, it was President Roh Moo-hyun and the Uri Party who pushed the cart before the horse on the political situation of the wiretapping scandal. Since the National Intelligence Service (NIS) announced that illegal wiretapping took place within the government as well, Kim Dae-jung was suddenly admitted to the hospital and Honam public opinion turned sour, and President Roh changed his words. President Roh had promised to get to the bottom of the case when he received a report from the NIS in late July, but in the August 18 discussion session he held with editors of politics sections from major newspapers, he took a step back, saying he was “baffled that the meaning of the NIS report has been enlarged.”

The same goes for the Uri Party. As soon as Kim Dae-jung was said to be suffering from an “illness of the heart,” all party leaders became envoys to seek his forgiveness. Spokesman Jun even said, “What could the Uri Party and the government get if DJ gets hurt?” The problem is that such an attitude by the Uri Party and the government, which seem to be putting the blame on the NIS, may affect the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation of the wiretapping case.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office, which executed a seizure and search of the NIS last week, announced that former NIS directors and vice-directors would be summoned soon. There are rumors that those who were NIS directors during Kim Dae-jung’s administration are preparing a press interview to assert their innocence. Under such circumstances, the comment, “We will make sure that the works of the Kim Dae-jung’s administration are not covered,” does not seem appropriate. Nobody is telling them to hide the achievements of the former administration. They are to distinguish between the merits and demerits of the case. Deliberately hiding one’s faults will even damage the works that have been done to his credit.

Song Dae-keun, Editorial Writer, dksong@donga.com