[EDITORIALS]Surprise team memberA National Security Law violator was arrested while working on the Roh transition team. We worry that a former operative of an anti-state group was able to infiltrate into the center of government. It is surprising to see that government operations are so lax.
Lee Beom-jae had been sought by the prosecutors since 1994 on charges of illegal entry into North Korea while working for a pro-North Korean underground organization, “Save Fatherland Frontier.” It is not clear how he became a member of a transition team subcommittee. He is known to have worked as vice-chairman of a Millennium Democratic Party committee concerned with the disabled during the presidential campaign. It should be made clear who recommended him to the MDP camp, and then to the transition team.
Some people claimed that the “Frontier” was fabricated for political purposes and an investigation was forced. If Mr. Lee wanted to work for a political party and participate in government, he should have turned himself in to the authorities and cleared suspicions.
The transition team is established under the law for such important duties as becoming acquainted with government and setting policy directions for the incoming government. Police officers and prosecutors were attached to the committee. If they had reviewed Mr. Lee’s personal data, they could have easily found he was on the wanted list. It was discovered only after his surrender to the National Intelligence Service.
There are already too many former anti-government activists in the new government. The background of Mr. Lee’s participation on the transition team should be clarified and checks should be made to find any other such people in the new government.