[EDITORIALS]Come home and talk

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[EDITORIALS]Come home and talk

It looks like the suspicions turned out to be true. Choi Seong-gyu, the superintendent of the special investigation division of the National Police Agency, seems to have escaped to Hong Kong immediately after he was named as one of the prime suspects in a scandal that may also involve President Kim Dae-jung's third son, Kim Hong-gul. Mr. Choi was reported to have met Friday with Choi Gyu-seon, who claimed to have given a large amount of money to Kim Hong-gul. Mr. Choi, the police official, is suspected of having been involved in a money-for-promotions scheme in the police agency and of having used investigations for personal purposes.

Mr. Choi's flight to Hong Kong revealed several problems in the police force. We cannot understand how a person with such low morals could be promoted to a core position in the police force that is supposed to keep law and order in our society. The actions of the police force are baffling; it seems almost as if it helped Mr. Choi to flee, since it has done nothing despite the suspicions aired over the past few days. Now that he is gone, the police are investigating. That's like calling a doctor after someone has died.

And it now seems that the Sajikdong Team, a special police unit attached to the Blue House, is still alive even though it was formally disbanded long ago. Mr. Choi, the division chief, frequently visited the Blue House and reported on the team's investigations and the public mood. That tells us that the division itself is just the Sajikdong Team with a different name. Mr. Choi worked for the team before, and has been the special investigative division chief for over three years. No wonder he was known as the "superintendent for the Blue House" among his colleagues.

Mr. Choi is suspected of opening investigations to keep suspicions over Kim Hong-gul's sweet deals from spreading further. Choi Gyu-seon reportedly asked Mr. Choi to gag an official of a construction company who was talking about young Mr. Kim's activities. He was also said to have stopped a police investigation into a hospital in Seoul on behalf of a former senior official of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. He allegedly took bribes from police officers that wanted to get promoted to superintendent. It seems to be natural that Choi Gyu-seon, Choi Sung-gyu and a former official of the Seoul Metropolitan Government got together to talk about how to get out of their current trouble.

But we still wonder why Mr. Choi had to leave for Hong Kong. The activities revealed so far are not any worse than crimes committed by police officers in the past. He would not have to face serious punishment for such "ordinary" things and he presumably knew that. Under the circumstances, we wonder if his flight to Hong Kong was triggered by much more serious crimes or circumstances that he does not want to reveal.

The Kim Dae-jung government should do something about Mr. Choi's flight to Hong Kong. He was under the command of the Blue House, and he was involved in the suspicions about the president's son. Let's see if the Blue House has the courage to clear up all these suspicions.

The government should mobilize all its resources to get Mr. Choi to come back to Seoul as soon as possible. That is the only way for the government to be seen as innocent of the suspicions of unfair and distorted investigations into Kim Hong-gul's case.

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