[EDITORIALS]Get to the bottom of bugs

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[EDITORIALS]Get to the bottom of bugs

The agreement to conduct a National Assembly investigation into allegations of wiretapping by the National Intelligence Service got off to a rough start from day one. The Millennium Democratic Party members of the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee, who will decide the procedures and methods of the investigation into the wiretapping, have revoked their word. In the face of an agreement they had signed merely hours before, these legislators have shamelessly changed their positions, claiming that the outline of the investigation was not the one they had in mind. With such an attitude, it is doubtful whether the investigation could disclose the truth about the wiretappings.

For many of us who have lived in fear of being bugged, this investigation was an opportunity to find out the truth and to correct wrongs. The agreement among the parties to conduct the investigation was greeted with relief by many. At the same time, however, there was anxiety that an investigation without proper preparations could very well provide an escape route for wrongdoers. Thus, this anxiety now seems to make sense.

The agreement to conduct an investigation of wiretapping was the result of the Grand National Party legislator Chung Hyung-keun's charges that the National Intelligence Service had conducted illegal wiretapping in the affair of the Korea Development Bank's $359-million loan to Hyundai Merchant Marine.

Because most people have begun to believe that Mr. Chung is speaking the truth, the government and the MDP were obliged to accept the investigation proposal. We had hoped for a breakthrough Saturday when the head of the National Intelligence Service denied his agency had conducted any illegal wiretapping and promised to submit to a full investigation.

Alas, so much for these expectations. The "full investigation" has now veered to the direction of an internal investigation without any witnesses or hearings. As long as it is not a case of compromising national security, as the constitution states, the investigation should be conducted strictly and openly so that we can get rid of the allegations that our country is a "republic of bugs."
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