[EDITORIALS]Air thick with suspicion

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[EDITORIALS]Air thick with suspicion

We are living in a sea of allegations of wrongdoing. A characteristic of this trend is that none of the accusations has been verified, leading people into further confusion.

An allegation was made on Tuesday, deepening people's dismay over politics. Charges lodged against a former presidential secretary, Jang Hak-ro, spewed from an informer bought off by the National Congress for New Politics (the predecessor of the Millennium Democratic Party). If true, the "revelation" means that even the opposition party, which was victimized by political gamesmanship, had employed the same political ploy its enemies used.

The exposure of corruption committed by then-President Kim Young-sam's chief personal secretary dealt a death blow to his administration. The informer has filed a lawsuit against the NCNP and then-party president Kim Dae-jung, claiming full payment of the promised money and compensation for damages. The fact that legal action is being taken against the party and Mr. Kim is shocking.

There is another reason why this case is attracting attention. It has raised suspicion that there was a secret deal between Kim Dae-eop and the MDP over the draft-dodging scandal involving the son of the Grand National Party presidential candidate, Lee Hoi-chang. The MDP has praised Kim Dae-eop, an ex-convict, as a righteous man.

According to the recorded tape of the informer, the validity of Mr. Kim's disclosures is dubious. The new revelation, following the publication of the "Report on the Meeting with Kim Dae-eop" by a Seoul daily, raises the possibility that the draft-dodging scandal was fabricated from the beginning.

The suspicions over Hyundai's loan of 400 billion won ($320 million) from the Korean Development Bank is an example of truth delayed. If there are people who tried to buy information and encourage informers to make allegations, they should also be condemned. The MDP might say that paying the informer of Mr. Jang's irregularities was a party official's personal act. But making an excuse in such a way will only make suspicions grow. To prevent further harm, the Blue House and the MDP should find the truth behind the suspicions.

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