[EDITORIALS]Much more in store?

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[EDITORIALS]Much more in store?

The latest issue of the Korean edition of Newsweek discloses secret documents of Kwon Roh-kap, former senior adviser of the Millennium Democratic Party. The documents show Mr. Kwon abusing power, intervening deeply in state affairs and the Kim Dae-jung administration in disarray. There were rumors that those at the center of power privately influenced the appointment of public officials and the allocation of government funds. The documents, photos and tape recordings presented by the magazine support these allegations. The secret files explain why President Kim is called "vegetable president."

The documents are astonishing in that Mr. Kwon literally intervened in almost all state affairs as though they were his household tasks. The evidence shows that he had control over important offices in the Blue House, the National Intelligence Service, government enterprises and cabinet ministers.

Names of many high-profile figures, including the chairman of the Civil Service Commission, are in the files. We were puzzled when we heard Mr. Kwon's claim that he did not accept 50 million won ($41,000) from a high-ranking NIS official, but received regular intelligence reports.

Blue House documents and papers on the political strategy for winning the presidential election were found. The Korean edition of Newsweek mentions the money involved. We suspect money was involved in numerous personnel appointments. We are reminded of the assertion that Mr. Kwon was put behind bars on charges of accepting 50 million won in bribes in order to protect him from charges on more serious irregularities.

Although Mr. Kwon's secret file is the subject of the report, the documents may be only the tip of the iceberg of his abuse of power. Since detailed evidence is presented, the government should investigate irregularities in personnel appointments, accusations of giving favor to businesses and suspected intervention in the privatization of government enterprises. It is not wise for the prosecution to let the investigation pass to the National Assembly's audit of government as was the case with the audit over the use of public funds.
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