&#91EDITORIALS&#93Keep it out in the open

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[EDITORIALS]Keep it out in the open

It seems that the Blue House and the Millennium Democratic Party intend to conclude the case of secret money transferred to North Korea by the Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. by holding closed-door hearings at the National Assembly. It is not proper. If reform policies and other works of the new government are not to be made hostage to suspicions over the money transfer, the truth should be clarified to the satisfaction of both domestic and overseas observers. While clearing up of all suspicions over the case is important, the ruling camp conveys the impression of foot-dragging and avoidance.

The speech of Hahn Hwa-kap, the chairman of the MDP, delivered at the National Assembly, carried the voices of those in the ruling camp who objected to an independent counsel, favoring a political solution. His words, "Let's look for a solution putting our heads together," sounds good, but it smells of a cover-up. Mr. Hahn criticized the Grand National Party when it voiced its suspicions before the presidential election. He blamed the party for "a scheme aimed at the presidential election. The GNP tries to pour cold water on the inter-Korean peace mood." He did not make any apology over his remarks. Now he wants to stop half way into the case. How can the opposition and the people agree with him?

According to a JoongAng Ilbo poll, three out of four people agree to the investigation by an independent counsel. And two thirds want the case put under judicial review. People's anger was heightened not only by the involvement and support of the Blue House and the National Intelligence Service but also by their attempt for a cover up. It is now suspected that even more money was transferred to the North.

Some in the ruling camp insist that only a small fraction of the public want a probe by an independent counsel. They should not try to gloss over the situation by emphasizing national interest and a war crisis. The truth cannot be covered up by political solution or ruling and opposition party cooperation. The right thing is a special prosecutor, not a closed-door hearing.
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