[EDITORIALS]The Blue House as victimIt is alarming that the secret taping of Yang Gil-seung, personal secretary of President Roh Moo-hyun, seems to overshadow the scandal of the aide who enjoyed a drinking party with a criminal suspect in late June. There are theories that the videotape was intended to wound the Roh Moo-hyun administration and that Mr. Yang is the victim of a setup.
President Roh said Saturday that he has taken no action on Mr. Yang’s resignation because he did not want to yield to the concern that media criticism would pose a bigger threat to the Blue House should Mr. Yang stay in office. The remark strongly suggests that he is trying to protect Mr. Yang.
As he said, President Roh can accept Mr. Yang’s resignation after the scandal is properly dealt with, rather than dismiss him under pressure from the media. It would be unfair to dismiss his aide for what he cannot be held accountable for. But Mr. Yang violated the Blue House ethical code by receiving entertainment from outsiders. The incident occurred on a Saturday night when all staff members were supposed to be on emergency duty because of a railway strike. Mr. Yang left the office without reporting to the president or chief of staff. Rumors abound of shady dealing between the Blue House aide and the nightclub owner who sponsored the drinking party. The owner is being investigated in connection with tax evasion and prostitution.
Mr. Yang’s misconduct is the key issue. Instead of properly addressing this misconduct, why does President Roh go to extremes, vowing to keep the government from going under and swearing that he will not resign? Nobody has asked him to resign. It is the people who are entitled to be angry about the low standard of the Blue House staff, as reflected in this dirty scandal. It is beyond comprehension why Mr. Roh is angry, when he too should be held accountable.
President Roh is completely mishandling the scandal. He should admit the misconduct of his aide, but instead has chosen to pass the Blue House off as the victim. Does he intend to shake off every problem that way? We urge President Roh to change his way of thinking.