[EDITORIALS]Roh’s remarks limitingSuspicions snowball surrounding Sea Story. The case of the adult game room, featuring slot machines and gift vouchers, is seen as repugnant by ordinary people. The maker and the distributor of the machine had one machine in the process of being screened and approved by the Korea Media Rating Board, and then manipulated the machines before selling them in the market. If they believed that they could get away with that, their act was like ridiculing the system run by the government.
Suspicions arose about the Korea Media Rating Board as well. Former Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Yoo Jin-ryong claimed that he asked the board to suspend its evaluation of the slot machine as he was worried over its speculative nature, but that the board denied his request. There are also arguments that people involved in the gaming industry or people who did not even understand the game served as judges on the board. Other suspicions swirl that the judges were threatened or bribed by gambling game businessmen.
The problem around the gift certificates is the hardest to understand. Gift certificates were created as a way to promote healthy gaming and to boost the culture industry. However, they were used as chips at gambling houses and then traded for cash at hugely discounted prices, damaging the structure of their distribution. The Minister of Culture and Tourism permitted gambling businessmen who were formerly not qualified to issue gift certificates to release gift vouchers. This raises the suspicion that authorities were involved in this scandal. These suspicions should be investigated thoroughly. First, people involved in this scandal should reveal the truth. Uri legislator Chung Dong-chea should testify first. He was the culture and tourism minister when the game machine was screened and approved and the companies who would issue the gift certificates were selected. Other people at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Korea Media Ranking Board should testify as to what they know.
The prosecutor’s reaction was belated. A major function of the prosecution is to find a clue and investigate a case before the case is reported. The police have shouted for the security of the people but closed its eyes to illegal practices commonplace on the streets. The police should change and do their best from now on. President Roh Moo-hyun should give basic guidelines, such as revealing the truth. He should not make hasty predictions such as “There is nothing that defines a gate,” or “My nephew has nothing to do with the scandal.” These remarks can be misunderstood as putting certain limits on the investigation.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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