[EDITORIALS]My son the studentThe controversy over the lifestyle of President Kim Dae-jung's third son, Hong-gul, who is studying in Los Angeles, is refusing to die down in the ongoing partisan mudslinging. The main opposition Grand National Party has been taking issue with the fact that Kim Hong-gul, who has no income and holds a visa which disallows employment in the U.S., is living in the lap of luxury.
Whenever the GNP raises the allegations, the Blue House insists they are "not based on facts." This time, GNP Representative Hong Joon-pyo has pointed out that "some 300 million won has been used in just over three months." Hong provided evidence of Kim Hong-gul's bank transactions with a Korean-run bank in Los Angeles. The Blue House said that the cash transactions took place because Mr. Kim "moved, selling his house." Two years ago, another member of the GNP, Lee Shin-beom, questioned how Mr. Kim could afford to live in a $1 million house. The allegations have since persisted as the center of the controversy surrounding possible corruption within the presidential family.
The ruling Millennium Democratic Party claims that the GNP needlessly rehashes the same attacks against Mr. Kim. But then again, the repeated allegations heighten doubts that there is good reason the Blue House cannot quell the attacks. The president's son has the right to privacy, but in order to ward off the suspicions the Blue House should clarify all the facts.
The public is curious as to what the 39-year-old is studying in Los Angeles; whether he has an income to support his family and is receiving financial assistance and is living in a luxurious house. The MDP and Blue House refuse to address the core issues. They simply question how the GNP obtained the evidence of Mr. Kim's bank transactions, which can only be divulged with legitimate procedures.
The Blue House should settle the suspicions surrounding Kim Hong-gul. Otherwise it cannot escape the controversy, the burden of which will fall on Kim Dae-jung. The GNP, for its part, should refrain from partisan bickering concerning the presidential family.