[EDITORIALS]A second counsel is neededThe Millennium Democratic Party stubbornly opposes an independent counsel bill to investigate Hyundai’s gift of 15 billion won ($12.5 million) to the former Blue House chief of staff, Park Jie-won. While only the old-timers led the opposition at first, most ruling-party lawmakers have joined the wave, including the party leader Chyung Dai-chul. Their logic is far from convincing.
The party’s floor leader, Chung Kyun-hwan, loudly insists that the Korean summit was a part of the president’s sincere effort to fulfill his duty to pursue the unification of the Korean Peninsula, and that any investigation of it would be unconstitutional. He has evidently forgotten why the first independent counsel, Song Doo-hwan, was approved. When allegations arose of unusual money transfers to the North, officials of the former administration insisted that they had never sent a dollar. After disclosures by the media and the opposition party following a series of lies from core members of the Kim Dae-jung administration, the Korean people demanded an explanation.
Moreover, if any independent probe of the summit is unconstitutional, why do they want prosecutors to investigate? Is it unconstitutional for an independent counsel to investigate but legitimate for the prosecutors? We can only surmise that the Millennium Democrats are afraid the independent counsel would reveal their wrongdoings in full.
We still do not know whether the 15 billion won is related to the 10 billion won stolen from Kim Yeong-wan. But we know that Hyundai provided Mr. Park with 15 billion won in certificates of deposit, and Mr. Park entrusted the money to Mr. Kim to be laundered. And Mr. Park insists he never got the money, much of which is thought to have flown into the Millennium Democrats’ presidential campaign last year. The ruling party must not blur the point by bringing up regional sentiment or political debate to protect former President Kim or to fulfill the party’s political goals. If the allegations are true, someone has benefited from the summit or has abused his position to use the money for political purposes. Those are serious crimes.