KBS president should resignThe Board of Audit and Inspection yesterday ordered the KBS board of directors to dismiss its president, Jung Yun-joo. It held Jung accountable for incurring 150 billion won ($147.4 million) in losses to the company over the past five years, as well as abusing his authority on personnel management.
There is no clause in current broadcasting law regarding dismissal of the head of a public broadcaster.
But Jung is encouraged to voluntarily walk away from the job before he is forced to do so.
Jung took office in 2003, pushing aside then-KBS head Park Kwon-sang while Park was in the middle of his term.
Jung also undermined the independence of the public broadcaster, which was shown by what he did during the presidential election campaign last year.
Jung and KBS harshly attacked Lee Myung-bak, the candidate from the Grand National Party, by casting suspicion over his alleged role in the stock price manipulation scandal concerning BBK. In addition, Jung is accused of poor management.
Jung is now under prosecution investigation on charges of breach of trust, which is related to his responsibility for causing the company huge financial losses.
But he is not cooperating with the investigation, five times refusing the prosecution’s summonses. For that reason, the prosecution recently banned him from leaving the country.
Jung also refused the summons by the Board of Audit and Inspection to be present for questioning four times. Under BAI law, a person disobeying a BAI requirement to submit documents or obey a summons can be punished by up to one year in prison.
Worse yet, he is supporting illegal rallies against U.S. beef imports and using those attending the rally to guard the company.
Thus it is jaw-dropping to see that he is holding on to his post, saying “the political independence of a public broadcasting firm is not obtained without guaranteeing the term of the company’s head.”
The key to the advancement of a public broadcasting firm is fairness, not the guaranteed term of a person who is politically biased and incapable of management. It is deplorable that such a person is citing freedom of the press.
For Jung, whose life is geared toward anti-American and anti-government issues, it would be better to resign from his position as head of the public broadcasting firm and join a political civic group.