[EDITORIALS]Kim’s silence is deafeningRegarding the “An-poong” (suspicion that the funds from the national intelligence agency budget were used in the 1996 general elections) incident, former Secretary-General of the New Korea Party Kang Sam-jae admitted yesterday in court that he had received the funds directly from former President Kim Young-sam, who was then the party chief.
It is dumbfounding that then-President Kim would deliver such an astoundingly large amount of illegal funds. If Mr. Kang’s assertion is true, then it shows that the investigation by the prosecutor’s office missed the real suspect.
Mr. Kim has kept silent ever since the allegations were first brought up three years ago. Assemblyman Park Chong-ung, a spokesman for Mr. Kim, said, “This incident is merely revenge by the Kim Dae-jung administration, and if the public prosecutors office tries to investigate former President Kim Young-sam, we will deal firmly with this.”
Lawyers for Mr. Kang said their client was given checks of 100 million won ($858,000), up to 20 billion won, that were put in his wallet. But Mr. Park denied this by saying, “I have worked for former President Kim Young-sam for a long time, and I know that he gives money by putting them in envelopes, not putting them in wallets.”
Mr. Kang, who had previously said, “I will take my political secrets to my grave,” has finally opened his mouth. Mr. Kim must do the same. He should comply with a new investigation by the prosecutor’s office instead of accusing others of “political revenge.”
Was he not the very person who had promised to “set history straight” by arresting former presidents Chun Do Hwan and Roh Tae-woo for amassing hundred of billions of won during their administrations?
The prosecutors should not merely focus on their investigation results. They have said that if key people testify in court or before the prosecution, then they would reopen the illegal funds investigation.
Now that Mr. Kang has testified in court, it’s time for prosecutors to fulfill their promise. We need to find out whether the money really came from the national intelligence agency or election slush funds or election congratulatory funds. We must find out how involved the former president was.