Deception and betrayalKoreans are witnessing another shocking betrayal. The Roh Moo-hyun administration has packaged itself as the purest administration in the history of the country. But it wasn’t. The Park Yeon-cha affair and a variety of scandals involving the former president’s older brother, close associates, staff, sponsors and key officials have been sent to prison or are awaiting investigation.
When he was in office, former President Roh declared that anyone on his staff found involved in dubious deals or seeking favors would suffer consequences, along with their family.
But we now know that Nam Sang-kook, the late president of Daewoo Construction and Engineering, asked the former president’s older brother, Roh Geon-pyeong, for help to keep his position. The former president said his sibling was nothing but a humble farmer while he was actually at the center of a huge corruption scandal. He allegedly put pressure on Nonghyup, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, to take over a securities firm and took tens of billions of won as commission.
And that’s not all. He may have interfered in an election. He was a broker or delivery person for Park Yeon-cha’s illegal funds to candidates for the former ruling party.
The charges against Roh may grow as the prosecutors’ investigation widens. The former president himself isn’t above suspicion either. He said he borrowed 1.5 billion won ($1.10 million) from Park after retiring from the presidency but no one knows for sure if there were any suspicious deals with the money. Park has supported the politician Roh for a long time.
During the five years of the Roh administration, the president’s disorderly behavior damaged the authority of the office. Roh’s army included former student activists turned politicians, who denied the legitimacy of Korea’s history and sowed confusion on the national identity. They attacked the authority and identity of the government before them, while flying a banner of morality.
That was nothing but deception. The people have been betrayed repeatedly.
The people feel suspicious about the incumbent administration as well, since Choo Boo-kil, a former presidential secretary, was arrested and the first presidential secretary for civil affairs was also mentioned in the probe.
The prosecutors must thoroughly investigate corruption charges leveled at the Roh administration in order for the incumbent administration to learn a lesson. At the same time, the seeds of corruption that are about to sprout in the incumbent administration must be removed. If morality is damaged, the driving force to escape the economic crisis will be hampered as well.