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Ruling party denounces prosecutors’ investigation into nuclear reactor closure

Ruling party denounces prosecutors’ investigation into nuclear reactor closure

Posted November. 07, 2020 07:49,   

Updated November. 07, 2020 07:49


The leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea on Friday denounced the country’s prosecution led by Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl. The ruling party considers the prosecution’s investigation into suspicions that economic viability assessment of the Wolseong-1 power plant was fabricated as a head-on challenge against the Moon Jae-in administration.

In particular, the ruling party sees the nuclear power plant investigation by the prosecution an attack intended to weaken the latter half of President Moon’s presidency. What was once a legal clash between Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae and Prosecutor General Yoon has developed into a confrontation between the ruling party and Yoon.

Ruling party leader Lee Nak-yon used unprecedented strong words to condemn the prosecution during a meeting with party leaders on Friday. “The prosecution responded to political manipulation by the opposition party even though the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), which was responsible for the assessment, did not request an investigation into the case,” said Lee, calling it a “political investigation and an abuse of prosecutorial power.” Lee added he demands that the prosecution stop this risky and reckless action immediately.

The next presenter Kim Tae-nyeon, the floor leader of the ruling party, said the investigation is the prosecution’s intervention in state affairs. “It is deeply regrettable to see the prosecution’s intervention in state affairs,” said floor leader Kim. “When I say regrettable, it is the most refined word I can use for this situation.”

The reason that the ruling party got infuriated is because energy transition, as the ruling party leader Lee said, is part of President Moon Jae-in’s election pledges and a key government policy. “Prosecutor General Yoon is now meddling with one of the key policies of the administration following his challenge to the President’s right to appoint the country’s justice minister last year,” said a DPK official.

Cheong Wa Dae has not issued an official statement on the matter. But its atmosphere is not different from the DPK. “It’s preposterous. I don’t know why the prosecution tries to engage in politics. It’s an attempt to damage government’s policy to move away from nuclear power,” said a Cheong Wa Dae official.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com