[EDITORIALS]Truth is not partisan

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[EDITORIALS]Truth is not partisan

Chairman Hahn Hwa-kap of the Millennium Democratic Party proposed to set aside partisan wrangling ahead of the 2002 World Cup games.

The MDP wants the Grand National Party to stop allegedly partisan attacks on the president's sons, who are embroiled in allegations of graft. That would seem to be a reasonable proposal, but the problem with it is the gap between the MDP's concept of partisan wrangling and that of the GNP.

The MDP calls "partisan" any charges that core figures in the Kim administration are involved in the scandals. That is unrealistic and does nothing but beg the question of whether there are bad odors at high levels.

Successfully hosting the World Cup games and investigating corruption allegations involving core political figures are two different matters. Thus, the MDP's stance against partisan wrangling reflects its lack of comprehension of the public rage these scandals have kindled. The Millennium Democrats' presidential nominee, Roh Moo-hyun, and Mr. Hahn earlier criticized the prosecution for being "a supine subject of the opposition party."

Pure-minded? It looks more as if they were trying to pressure the prosecution.

This "no partisanship" proposal has a precedent in the period before the 1988 Olympics. Then, opposition leader Kim Dae-jung maintained that investigating and prosecuting the Chun Doo Hwan regime's irregularities and the Olympics were two separate matters, but finally agreed to such a truce.

The issue then was whether or not Mr. Chun's activities should be investigated; now, corruption investigations of the president's family and close aides are already under way, so it is difficult to use the 1988 "no-war" declaration as a precedent.

The Korean public understands both the importance of successfully hosting the World Cup soccer games and inquiring into possible corruption around the president.

The public will not tolerate any attempts to link these two separate and important matters under the rubric of "partisan wrangling." We believe that quietly following the developments of the prosecution's investigation, without mentioning "partisan wrangling," is the fastest way to stop that kind of wrangling.
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