[EDITORIALS]A blizzard of mendacityThe conclusion by the independent counsel on its investigation of the cash-for-summit allegations reveals that officials of the Kim Dae-jung administration engaged in immoral activities. They lied in private and in public. Shamelessly, they even lied before the National Assembly. Still, they have not offered an apology but are only making excuses to escape the situation.
Mr. Kim last February, when the independent counsel was about to be introduced, said that the cash-transfer to the North was “Hyundai’s payoff to the North for the group’s business projects there.” He said the reason the transfer was not transparent was because he worried that a full disclosure of the process would damage the North’s trust in the South. We, however, do not think that deceiving people to gain the trust of the North is right.
Mr. Kim’s chief of staff, Park Jie-won, in particular, testified before the Assembly last October, saying, “The administration did not send money - not even a dollar ― to the North. If the cash-transfer allegation turns out to be true, I will take the punishment.” He also covered up his secret meeting with Song Ho-kyong, deputy chairman of North Korea’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, saying that at that time Mr. Park was on vacation. Now that the truth is out, Mr. Park says his actions were to gain the North’s trust.
Lim Dong-won, head of the National Intelligence Service in the Kim administration, also lied. He said, “I may have received the report that Hyundai asked the agency to help with its cash transfer. But I don’t know what happened thereafter.”
The Roh Moo-hyun Blue House and the ruling Millennium Democratic Party are trying to stall the investigation even though the lies have been revealed.
If Mr. Kim thinks he is responsible for his aides who were indicted, he should apologize to the public. That would be the proper thing to do for supporters of his sunshine policy, or engagement with the North.
The National Assembly should level charges at officials, such as Mr. Park, who committed perjury in the chamber so that they can be punished according to the law.