[VIEWPOINT]Flak continues over lineageSome time ago a spokesperson for the governing party told a reporter of a monthly magazine over a phone: “Right now, the conservative press of this country is keeping a prominent leader of our party, who is also a chair of a National Assembly subcommittee, stripped of her clothes and has made her stand naked in the middle of the Gwanghwa-mun intersection for months.” No matter what the gender of the assemblyperson may be, this is a horrible and outrageous scene to imagine. A clamorous follow-up article happened to come up in this conservative monthly magazine this month, and the course of matters is as follows.
The dispute started when the magazine objected to the claim of a government party representative that she is the proud descendant of a patriot who fought for our independence. This was no doubt an important political asset for the assemblywoman. The objection was that the general who led a detachment of the independence force, whom the assemblywoman claimed as her ancestor, was in fact only a great uncle of a half brother who belonged to a different family. The assemblywoman defended herself by saying that this was because the great-grandmother took the then-young great uncle with her when she remarried. It may seem a little immature, but the dispute seemed to come to a pause for the moment.
However, a month after that, the magazine revealed that the assemblywoman’s father, who she claimed had suffered greatly in Siberia where he was forcefully taken for taking part in the independence movement, was actually a Manchurian policeman. The magazine reported that the assemblywoman’s father served as a policeman under the Japanese name of Eichi Kineyama at Yuha in Manchuria. The magazine quoted the words of the daughter-in-law of the independence fighter as part of the evidence.
If the article is right, it will not only ruin the morality and identity of the assemblywoman, but will also have an effect on her social status. After all, the glory that came with the assemblywoman being a descendant of an independence movement leader will have had a great effect on the results of the election. There has even been a news report that the opposing candidate who lost to the assemblywoman in the election filed suit for nullification of the election.
On top of that, what is even worse for the government party is that this will have a negative effect on the law to re-examine the truth of our past history, which was championed by this assemblywoman. If her father was not an independence movement leader but rather a Manchurian policeman who went around catching independence fighters, it could give the impression of a thief trying to punish innocent people. The assemblywoman led the drive for the law, which is mainly concerned with exposing pro-Japanese activities. Even if it is not a revival of the old guilt-by-association system, it is difficult to find the sincerity and justification in proposing the law.
However, the lawmaker slammed the assertions of the magazine as the conservative press’s plot against her and made a firm strike back. She called a press conference where she appeared with a group of her family members. She not only denied the suspicions raised by the monthly magazine, but even made the independence leader’s daughter-in-law attend to deny what she said to the monthly. It truly seemed like a counteraction to end any further debates.
Nevertheless, the magazine repeated the exposition that the assemblywoman’s father was a Manchurian policeman again in their latest issue. The magazine even shows indirect records from a Japanese book called “A Short History of the Manchurian Police” and the papers of Chinese security authorities, to imply that the representative’s father suppressed independence fighters as a special agent of the Manchurian police.
In addition, the magazine is standing by its claim that the representative is of a different family line from the independence army general, showing a letter that a cousin of the assemblyman’s father sent to the office of the clan as evidence.
If, by any chance, the magazine’s exposition is true, the assemblywoman who frequently lied and fabricated witnesses will be seen as a monster who knows no shame. Otherwise, she could be considered a political animal that survives endlessly even though sentenced to death politically by public opinion, not an innocent victim who was made to stand naked at the crossroads of Gwanghwamun for months. Not only that, the morality and integrity of the government party that protected the assemblywoman will be suspected .
However, as the leader of the government party claims, if all this is the plot of the conservative press to trap the representative, who initiated the enactment of the law to re-examine the truth of our history, in order to hide a treasonous pro-Japanese past, something is definitely wrong with this country.
If the magazine is tormenting the innocent governing party assemblywoman with lies and fabricated evidences “for the benefit of the magazine or the head of the magazine,” the government authority can deal with it in various ways, without waiting until the media law is revised.
Nobody will call the removal of such a deadly weapon from our society “suppression of the press.”
* The writer is a novelist. Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.
by Lee Moon-youl