[EDITORIALS]Accusations need factual basis

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[EDITORIALS]Accusations need factual basis

The political fight between the governing Uri Party and the opposition Grand National Party is intensifying over the allegation that the Uri lawmaker Lee Chul-woo joined the North Korean Workers’ Party. The Uri Party said it will push a motion to eject out of the National Assembly the four Grand Nationals who brought the accusation against Mr. Lee. In turn, the Grand National Party said it will establish a special commission to find out the truth concerning Mr. Lee.
The allegation was raised by the Grand Nationals including Joo Sung-young during Wednesday’s National Assembly full session. At the time, Mr. Joo cited a weekly’s article that said, “Representative Lee Chul-woo joined the Workers’ Party in 1992 and received a code name ‘Mount Daedun 820’ and still has been secretly working for the party.”
But Mr. Lee denied the charge saying, “I was convicted only for joining an anti-state organization and received a four-year prison term.”
If Mr. Lee joined the Workers’ Party and currently works for it as the Grand Nationals claim, then it will be a serious problem that disrupts the constitutional order of the nation.
When we look at the rulings of the final and appeals court on Mr. Lee, there is no mention that he had joined the Workers’ Party. Instead, he was convicted for joining an anti-state organization called the National Liberation Front and for aiding others in collecting national secrets.
Here, the important issue is whether the organization he joined was affiliated with the Workers’ Party and if so, if he was aware of such fact. There is a previous court ruling that acknowledged the National Liberation Front was related to the Workers’ Party’s central subdivision in South Korea and the name of the group was only a ruse.
Now, both the governing and opposition parties are only engaged in attacking each other rather than studying Mr. Lee’s case.
For the Uri Party, it should have investigated thoroughly before attacking the opposition’s allegation as “a white terror of the Cold War era conservatives.” As the governing party, isn’t it proper to probe any allegations concerning Mr. Lee’s past and present status and tell the truth to the people?
And for the Grand National Party, it was not prudent to raise an allegation without sufficient verification. We ask both parties to stop the time-consuming political fight and find the truth.
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