[EDITORIALS]Curious coincidencesPark Beom-gye, a Blue House civil affairs secretary, visited Prosecutor General Song Kwang-soo and his deputy, Kim Jong-bin, on Dec. 12. This has become a problem because the opposition parties began to suspect that there was some kind of understanding between the Blue House and the prosecution on the campaign funds investigation.
Mr. Park and the prosecution’s leadership said that the conversation did not involve the investigation of presidential campaign financing. But the meeting took place on the day that President Roh Moo-hyun’s aides, Lee Kwang-jae and Ahn Hee-jun, were called in for questioning by the prosecution. It is difficult to understand that Mr. Park, who acted as the liaison between the Blue House and the prosecution, sat down with senior prosecutors on a day like that and made only small talk for thirty minutes.
And was it just by chance that two days after the meeting, President Roh Moo-hyun met with the leaders of four political leaders and promised that he would resign from politics if his campaign last December collected more than a tenth of the illegal campaign contributions that went to the Grand National Party? Mr. Park, the theory goes, may have fixed the numbers with the prosecution.
This is not the first time that the president has made suspicious comments about campaign financing. In May, Mr. Ahn first faced charges that he had accepted illegal contributions for Mr. Roh from the Nara Merchant Bank. The president’s comments was, “He is an aide of mine, a partner and a comrade.” Mr. Ahn, the president said, “was suffering all because of me.”
When he learned of the ban on overseas travel against Kang Geum-won, the president of Changshin Textile Co. and a financial supporter of Mr. Roh, the president’s words were, “Ahn Dae-hee is killing me,” referring to the senior prosecutor overseeing the investigation.
You shall not tie your shoelaces in a cucumber patch, the old saying goes, because you may be taken for a cucumber thief. Mr. Park and the prosecution must disclose their conversation.