[EDITORIALS]No veto, Mr. PresidentThe National Assembly passed a bill to name an independent counsel to investigate an illegal cash transfer to North Korea, but some in the ruling party demand that the president veto the bill. The Millennium Democratic Party argues that the bill was passed by the opposition party unilaterally.
Although the bill was boycotted by the MDP, we believe that it was approved legitimately under the Assembly Act. The MDP lawmakers left the floor after their filibuster failed. They expressed their intentions by boycotting the voting. If they walked off the floor to make such a justification later, they will be criticized for their sly tactics. The MDP is pressing the president to veto the bill, citing public opinion polls. That is a risky idea.
President Roh Moo-hyun holds the key to this issue. Mr. Roh has said he would respect the Assembly’s decision, but added that there is room for a compromise between the ruling and opposition parties. We have already made clear that Mr. Roh must not veto the bill. All allegations about the money transfer must be laid bare. The former President Kim Dae-jung already admitted a $500 million transfer to the North. There is evidence that the Blue House and the National Intelligence Service had violated laws during the cash transfer. Mr. Kim initially called the deal a “presidential prerogative,” but said later the deal was “purely economic cooperation.” Such legal violations must not be smoothed over by national interests. For healthy inter-Korean relations, dark secrets must be revealed.
If Mr. Roh agrees with those who want to protect the former president by hiding the illicit deal, the image of new government will be greatly damaged. The opposition party passed both the independent counsel bill and the approval of prime minister’s appointment. If the president sends back the independent counsel bill to the floor now, the relations between the ruling and the opposition parties, and between the National Assembly and the government will face serious hardships. For his own sake, Mr. Roh must not veto the independent counsel bill.