Samsung face-offA person must assume responsibility for his convictions. Kim Yong-cheol, the lawyer who created chaos by making corruption allegations against Samsung, is failing to do so. The National Assembly’s intelligence committee scheduled a confirmation hearing for Kim Sung-ho, the National Intelligence Service chief-designate, on Friday but it could not hold it because of the lawyer.
Both the governing Grand National Party and the opposition United Democratic Party said he needed to appear as a witness but he refused. Kim Sung-ho said if the lawyer didn’t come, he wouldn’t either. Now it seems likely that Kim Sung-ho will be appointed NIS chief by President Lee Myung-bak in two weeks without going through a confirmation.
The lawyer is responsible for hindering the National Assembly’s task of keeping the administration in check and forcing the national spy agency to operate without a boss for an extended period.
People wonder why Kim Yong-cheol refused to appear. In an interview with CBS radio, he said, “Whether I go or not, I will be sued for defamation and perjury.” He also said, “The Grand National Party has sought to call Hong Man-pyo, a public affairs official at the Justice Ministry, to verify my claims ... But I cannot fight against a person whom I used to work with.”
His reasons are flimsy. If the result is the same whether he goes to the hearing or not, it suits him better to go to the hearing and reveal what he believes is the truth. One can hardly believe Kim Yong-cheol is concerned about the friendship with his former colleague. He publicly made allegations against Lee Jong-chan, the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, and Kim Sung-ho for taking bribes from Samsung and they all used to work together. Kim is the one who ruined their once-friendly ties.
The Catholic Priests Association for Justice also said it is possible “to destroy evidence” and for the hearing “to become a battlefield, rather than a place to reveal the truth.” However, looking at Kim Yong-cheol’s past, it is possible that there is no evidence and that he will blend truth and lies to stir up the world. We advise the Grand National Party and the United Democratic Party not to be fooled by a person who doesn’t take responsibility for his convictions. The GNP must call Kim Yong-cheol as witness for the hearing, even if that means the hearing will be postponed by five days or so. It must force Kim Sung-ho and Kim Yong-cheol to face each other and let the people judge who is telling the truth.