[EDITORIALS]Control needed in Army probeThe Defense Ministry is reported to have dismissed two of three military prosecutors who have been investigating irregularities in recent Army promotions. The reason is that the prosecutors leaked to the press that they would resign. The leak, however is considered in the military to be an act against the chain of command and military discipline.
Thus, new military prosecutors have to be named. Nevertheless, the internal turmoil surrounding the probe doesn’t look like it will stabilize soon. There are people who vow to make public the investigation’s progress if it is not allowed to completely address the allegations at hand.
The rift in the military ― which started with a conflict between military prosecutors and the Army Headquarters ― has now gone to the Defense Ministry. Although the defense minister has command over military prosecutors, the rift has become deeper.
We have to question the leadership of Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung. Of course, the development of the current situation is the fault of all parties involved. Nevertheless, considering how the probe started and how it has proceeded so far, one has to ask whether Defense Minster Yoon could have delivered more thoughtful guidance.
If the results of the investigation had been announced after a secret probe, we would not have any problems. Nevertheless, since the defense minister allowed military prosecutors to seize material at the Army Headquarters, the whole investigation went on a rough ride. Although such measures were taken because officers at the headquarters didn’t fully cooperate with military prosecutors, the defense minister should have considered the impact of it on the morale of the Army.
The defense minister first sided with military prosecutors. But as the probe turned out to become a long- term affair and the Blue House was accused of trying to assert control over the military, he switched camp to the Army leadership.
There has never been a case in which the morale of the armed forces has taken such a deep blow. Hence, the defense minister, who has a good understanding of the entire picture, has to take control over this matter.
His actions have to consider both the spirit of the Army and at the same time a solution to possible corruption concerns within the Army.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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