[EDITORIALS]Ms. Chang's first testThe eldest son of the newly named prime minister, Chang Sang, gave up his South Korean citizenship. Some people are wondering if she should be prime minster if she allowed her son to relinquish his citizenship. The controversy over the matter is amplified by her contradictory explanations. In her first meeting with reporters after her appointment, she said, "I wouldn't have allowed him to give up his citizenship if I thought I could be the prime minister someday." This can be considered a slip of the tongue. But it raised doubts on her morality and depth of patriotism as a national leader.
After her appointment, she said her son was exempted from military service because of his poor health. Thus, giving up his South Korean citizenship to avoid service would have been unnecessary. And a day later she said, "When we returned to Korea in 1977, the Ministry of Justice told us that we have to do something about our son's dual citizenship unless we were willing to take the legal consequences. That is why he gave up his South Korean citizenship."
The son could be criticized for taking advantage of the ability to travel freely between South Korea and the United States.
We feel sorry for Ms. Chang, the first woman ever named prime minister of Korean. She already finds herself in the vortex of controversy.
Criticizing dual citizenship as selling out your country does not go well with this era of globalization. We should not make an issue of the children of senior officials obtaining foreign citizenship through due process. But we should prohibit them from taking advantage of their dual citizenship to dodge military service. We should also provide strict regulations to prevent the practice of women going to the United States to deliver their babies in order for them to obtain U.S. citizenship.
The records show Ms. Chang's eldest son chose his citizenship at 4 years of age.
We are simply saying that her contradictory explanations about the matter make it hard to trust her. As the most senior official of the government, Ms. Chang should reconfirm her integrity and morality with a candid explanation of the matter. This would help at her confirmation hearing before the National Assembly. This is also essential for her to do her job properly as prime minister.