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[Opinion] Destruction of Constitution

Posted May. 25, 2007 03:12,   


At the inauguration ceremony held before the National Assembly building in Yeouido on February 25, 2003, Roh Moo-hyun swore an oath to obey the Constitution and defend the nation. The inaugural oath, stipulated in Article 69, is the people’s sacred order for the President; especially since following the Constitution can be said to be the President’s most important duty. However, in March of 2004, one year after he was inaugurated, President Roh was relieved of his duties after being impeached by the National Assembly.

Although the impeachment was eventually dismissed by the Constitutional Court, President Roh could not shake the disgraceful label of the first President to be impeached during his term in office. The “plan to make an advanced data collection system” transgresses freedom of speech and denies the value of free democracy underlined in the Constitution. It violates the Constitutional stipulation that the people are independent (Article 1-2) and have freedom of speech (Article 21) and the right to know.

Freedom of speech is essential for the democratic republic system of Korea (Article 1-1). It distinguishes democracy from communism or autocracy, as it is impossible for the people to express their opinions and watch the government without freedom of speech. The measure is not simply a matter of a “data collection system,” as the government presents. It is also far from an attempt to make the system “more advanced.” It transgresses the essential value of free democracy. Some scholars call it “an act of killing the Constitution.” It is not different from a military coup against the Constitution.

The government’s unilateral policy promotion and data collection permission through a briefing system not only kills the press, but also fools the people. It is a measure to avoid governmental monitoring by the people and the press. This is the truth with the current administration – a so-called participatory government. The President seems to have forgotten his inaugural oath due to his blind hatred of the conservative press. How can we view the administration with goodwill when its ill will is destroying the value of free democracy?

Yook Jeong-soo, Editorial Writer, sooya@donga.com