[EDITORIALS]Be wise probing historyThe National Intelligence Service yesterday announced seven past incidents that require further investigation. They are the cases involving illegal violence committed by government agencies or suspected involvement of public forces. They must be clarified ultimately by someone, someday. For the realization of historical justice ― “The truth prevails in the end, however long a period might have passed” ― it is necessary to carry out new investigations of events where the truth may have been clouded. Moreover, if these inquiries are used as an opportunity to prepare for the future and to clarify the truth, they will have historical meaning as well. The investigation committee pledged to concentrate on providing institutional measures to prevent a recurrence of human rights violations, abuse of power and illegal acts by the intelligence agency.
However, there is something dubious in the selection of incidents for investigation. It is difficult to understand why the Jeongsu Scholarship Foundation is included. It makes us wonder whether the birth of the foundation was a serious wrongdoing committed by the agency that it needs to be held accountable. If it was a case where personal property was taken illegally, there should be many other such cases. Korea’s Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Planning Board, the predecessors of the National Intelligence Service, were notorious for committing far more vicious acts. Therefore it raises the suspicion of political bias in the investigation. Naturally, the Grand National Party questions the intentions behind the inquiry. As Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the party, pointed out, an investigation of the past can be the object of investigation later.
Therefore, the agency must give a persuasive explanation on the selection criteria of the incidents for investigation. Otherwise, people will suspect that the cases have a hidden political agenda.
Especially on issues related to history, as police and other government branches as well as the legislature are going to launch independent investigations, there are possibilities of overlapping probes and a danger of driving the whole society into the whirlwind of the past.
Investigations this time should be carried out in a calm and quiet manner. The purpose in straightening out hidden wrongdoing is to evolve into a mature society.