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[Editorial] UNDP Should Come to Its Senses

Posted December. 07, 2007 05:25,   


The United New Democratic Party held another candlelight vigil Thursday, following one the previous day, in central Seoul, shouting that “the prosecution’s investigation was falsely motivated.” The party’s presidential candidate Chung Dong-young called a press conference and said, “A huge conspiracy is afoot. The prosecution did not conduct an investigation, it colluded with corrupt conservatives. In the name of the people and history, we must impeach the political prosecution that serves none but the powerful.”

The UNDP is more desperate now than it was when trying to raise the issue of the BBK scandal. They have even floated the idea of joining Lee Hoi-chang, whom they call the “father of ultraconservative forces that preserve the Cold War regime,” to form a solidarity front against Lee Myung-bak, while at the same time fighting for a special prosecutor law in the National Assembly. If the party joins Lee Hoi-chang, who it harshly blames as the “culprit behind corruption,” one might wonder who these “corrupt conservatives” really are.

The UNDP is even attempting to strip the prosecution of authority, which could undermine the reliability of ongoing investigations. Kim Gyeong-jun’s lawyers, mostly UNDP lawmakers, visited Kim, who is imprisoned for stock price manipulation at the Korea Corrections Service, Thursday and repeated Kim’s claims as if they were sacred truths.

UNDP Chairman Oh Chung-il argued that people should start a “second democratization struggle” against the current prosecution, citing innocent people wrongfully prosecuted and killed in the 1970s. Lee Hae-chan, joint election committee chairman of the party who served as prime minister in the current administration, argued that the country “is going back to 1970s-era authoritarian rule.” This is the same man who praised the administration as the “most stable government in Korea’s history in terms of system” earlier.

The prosecution’s investigation into the BBK case was conducted under Chief Prosecutors Chung Sang-myung and Lim Chae-jin, who were appointed by President Roh Moo-hyun. Now the UNDP, which can be called “another Uri Party,” and the joint election committee chair of the party who served as prime minister under President Roh, are censoring the prosecution. UNDP candidate Chung said, “The investigation by the prosecution is a conspiracy that defies common sense.” However, what really defies common sense is what his party is doing.

Although the UNDP is attempting to shake up the prosecution, the president, who has the authority to appoint a chief prosecutor, and the presidential office are keeping their silence. Regarding the special prosecutor bill on the BBK scandal, they are merely saying, “We will let our position be known after the law is delivered to the government through the National Assembly.” The president’s attitude is quite different now compared with how he reacted when the independent counsel bill on the Samsung scandal, which includes suspicions over his reception of “congratulatory money for election victory,” first made headlines.

The president said on Thursday at a luncheon with members of the Committee for the Review of Past History that, “It seems that the committee is not very rigorously reviewing past wrongdoings (of the prosecution).” That makes one wonder what the president’s real intention was for making such remarks when the UNDP is making every effort to undermine the reliability of the BBK investigation. Does this mean that the president does not trust the prosecution either?

The UNDP should come to its senses before it is too late. It should admit that its obsession with the BBK scandal was wrong from the beginning. It should understand the reason why Erica Kim, Kim Gyeong-jun’s sister and an accomplice in the scandal, suddenly canceled a scheduled press conference against the investigation result. If the UNDP continues its lies, claiming that “the contract was written according to Lee Myung-bak’s will,” the Korean people and history will accuse the party and Chung of deceiving the people.