Go to contents

[Editorial] President’s Blatant Repeating Attempt to Influence Pending Investigations

[Editorial] President’s Blatant Repeating Attempt to Influence Pending Investigations

Posted September. 03, 2007 03:02,   


South Koreans are sick and tired of Roh’s ugly and rude public comments, which belittle the status of our nation. We have had enough but do not have enough strength to counter Roh’s remarks every time he makes them. Nonetheless, Roh’s speech crossed the line a couple of days ago.

Pointing his finger at Grand National Party (GNP) presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak, Roh alleged, “The press is silent on allegations against Lee. But they try to eat up my minister-nominee only on one allegation.” Roh continued, “Sohn Hak-gyu changed his political position to win the party nomination from us. Now the party members are busy catering to the new member. Is it okay for Sohn to join our party while you condemn former president Kim Young-sam for his change of party membership?”

Roh’s remarks clearly violated the Korean campaign law, which imposes a strict political neutrality obligation upon the incumbent president in an election. Roh criticized GNP contender Park Geun-hye during the GNP primary. The Election Commission issued warnings three times in response. But he would not listen. He then took it one step further and intentionally violated the law. We are wondering how the commission will react to Roh’s blatant behavior this time.

Yet when his loyal man Jeong Yun-jae, who previously served Cheong Wa Dae as a presidential aide, got accused of involvement in bribery and other scandals, Roh stepped in and said, “Allegations without substance are flaring up these days.” The Busan DA’s office had reviewed its previous investigation and determined that a more thorough probe was necessary. When President Roh, who can fire any prosecutor, makes such comment, prosecutors are likely to get discouraged. Whenever his men got accused, Roh rolled up his sleeves and blamed the press or tried to influence the investigation. We don’t see fairness in his conduct.

Roh further said that he thought he had to protect the administration even at the cost of democracy. That is an unbelievable statement. He is the leader of a democratic country.

Roh has shown paranoiac reactions to the press, which does not deserve any comment from us. We feel really sorry about our inadequate system that cannot fix or stop the wayward behavior of our president.