[EDITORIALS]Investigating the abduction

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[EDITORIALS]Investigating the abduction

The task of finding the truth about Kim Sun-il’s abduction and death has fallen to the Board of Audit and Inspection. The Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council could investigate on their own, but as those agencies are at the heart of the controversy, it is doubtful that the public would accept their findings. In that regard, President Roh Moo-hyun appropriately ordered the central government’s auditing agency to carry out the task.
The board must do two things. It must unveil layers of suspicions and dig at the truth, and then examine whether there is a problem with information-gathering and coordination among diplomacy and security-related agencies. That is the only way to recover the credibility of the government.
It must first verify the truth about the controversy between the Associated Press and the Foreign Ministry. It must find out whether the Associated Press, after obtaining the videotape of Kim Sun-il, did call the Foreign Ministry, and who the reporter talked to. That is the only way to verify whether the government obtained information about the abduction, and whether the government responded properly. It is natural for an organization to hide the truth to protect itself.
An investigation of Kim Chun-ho, president of Cana General Trading Co., should be undertaken. He knew of the abduction early on, even negotiating with the abductors on his own. We wonder why he visited the South Korean embassy in Iraq four times, yet never told embassy officials about the abduction. Another nagging question is why the embassy was unaware of the abduction when the Korean community in Iraq knew about it.
Granted, the investigation will have its limits. The parties involved include an international wire agency and a civilian. But the auditors should not satisfy themselves with a limited probe. They should employ all measures within their power, such as a request for submission of documents, and should seek the assistance of other government agencies if needed.
With the investigation under way, the National Assembly should wait for the outcome before holding a hearing. The government should not issue hurried reprimands to quell public criticism.
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