Go to contents

[Editorial] Kim Dae-jung Administration Must Apologize for Its Involvement in Wiretapping Scandal

[Editorial] Kim Dae-jung Administration Must Apologize for Its Involvement in Wiretapping Scandal

Posted September. 27, 2005 05:56,   


Prosecutors have confirmed that material Rep. Chung Hyung-keun, a lawmaker of the Grand National Party, insisted as the product of wiretapping by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) right before 2002 presidential election, was actually compiled by NIS officers. The prosecution also confiscated tapes from the house of former NIS executives that contain the conversation of famous politicians wiretapped by NIS officers during the Kim Dae-jung administration using special equipment (R-2).

Since Kim Seung-kyu, the director of the NIS, admitted on August 5 that wiretapping was also conducted during the Kim Dae-jung administration, President Roh Moo-hyun and former president Kim Dae-jung have denied any suspicion regarding this. However, their denials are no longer valid because of the prosecution’s confirmation that “wiretapping was also conducted during the Kim Dae-jung administration.” We should compliment Kim for persuading NIS officers to tell the truth. After confessing, Kim greatly suffered from the sarcasm of ruling party members who said, “Kim lacks political sense.”

On the other side, former president Kim Dae-jung and the former NIS directors who have repudiated accusations of wiretapping since the scandal broke must make an apology in front of the nation and take legal responsibility. Former president Kim Dae-jung, who should assume responsibility regarding the wiretapping scandal as the head of this country at that time, was hospitalized after saying, “They are calling for me to be responsible for what has nothing to do with me.” Former NIS directors such as Lee Jong-chan, Chun Yong-taek, Lim Dong-won, and Shin Kuhn exerted influence to persuade Kim to stop the investigation.

In particular, former NIS director Shin, who said, “The NIS will be subject to a lawful decision if it conducted wiretapping,” after the opposition party members’ announcement, has sternly denied the suspicion by saying, “The NIS never wiretapped during the Kim Dae-jung administration,” since August, when Kim admitted its involvement. Shin also ordered his subordinates to accuse Dong-A Ilbo of defamation after the paper reported that officers of the Science and Security Department in NIS drove around Seoul area to wiretap conversations using portable phone wiretapping equipment.

The current government also has responsibility for this scandal to some extent because it attempted to play down it due to the consideration of the public reaction of Honam residents. President Roh even advocated this by saying, “There is no misconduct that the Kim Dae-jung administration should be responsible for.” Wiretapping is a crime that we must root out. In order to prevent such crimes from occurring again, we must first dig out the structural conditions that allowed such wrongdoing to take place and the real content that was committed by wiretapping. A new start must be based on sincere reflections and a sincere revelation of the truth.