[EDITORIALS]Time to speak up, Mr. Kim

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[EDITORIALS]Time to speak up, Mr. Kim

The alleged corruption of the president's three sons has created a clamor in the entire nation. Because of the mounting outcry, important pending issues such as the presidential primaries, local elections and the soccer World Cup have been neglected by the public. But President Kim Dae-jung remains silent. The Blue House claimed that the president is carefully watching the prosecutors' investigations, but that seems to be only words to mute the criticism.

Of course the president should not intervene in ongoing investigations. But these cases are different. Who are the suspects? They are Mr. Kim's sons. Prosecutors have no choice but to walk on eggshells in their investigation. Even if the prosecutors did their best, some people would still say that the investigations could never be thorough and fair. Therefore, Mr. Kim should speak about the allegations as a father, instead of as a president. Before his sons are summoned, Mr. Kim should tell them to go to the prosecutors, tell the truth and accept their punishment if they deserve to be punished.

In the second and the third sons' cases, the prosecutors have gathered a lot of information. Although the pair may not be found guilty of any crimes, they certainly have some connections with some strange activities. So the president should not wait. Presidential secretaries who were handling the scandals are being charged with cover-ups; Blue House staff have been arrested one after another on corruption charges. Park Jie-won, the Blue House chief of staff, has apologized, but that is not enough. High-ranking prosecution officials, the National Intelligence Service, the police and relatives of Mr. Kim have been involved in corruption. It is impossible to talk about this administration's morality.

Mr. Kim's reticence is not acceptable. The Grand National Party is demanding that the president step away from running the country and that he be investigated himself by prosecutors. Maybe that is just political rhetoric, but the Millennium Democratic Party, founded and led by Mr. Kim, is even suggesting that Mr. Kim may voluntarily leave the party.

The president probably does not like the thought that his own party is discussing whether he should depart the party, but he should recall his own words of five years ago. Then, President Kim Young-sam's second son was under investigation for alleged corruption. The opposition leader Kim Dae-jung called for the son's arrest and asserted that the father was responsible for the son's corruption.

Why is the president waiting? His silence makes national management more difficult and only hurts him and his sons more. Mr. President, make up your mind. What are you going to do?
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