Conservatives accuse PSPD of anti-state move

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Conservatives accuse PSPD of anti-state move

Three conservative groups yesterday urged a probe into the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy after the progressive nongovernmental civic organization sent a letter to the UN Security Council questioning Seoul’s investigation of the Cheonan disaster.

Right Korea, Korean Disabled Veterans’ Association for Agent Orange and the Association of the Korean War Victims’ Families said yesterday that they jointly sent a petition to the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office to demand an investigation into the PSPD.

The groups said that in sending the letter, the NGO obstructed the South Korean government’s diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council to hold North Korea accountable for its provocation in March. The conservatives said the letter benefited the North, an action tantamount to anti-state activity in the South. The PSPD denies the charge.

“We will also urge the prosecution to look into the Solidarity’s fund-raising activities,” said Bong Tae-hong, the head of Right Korea.

The PSPD said in its June 10 letter that Seoul’s final report had “many loopholes” and “lacks convincing rationale.”

After challenging the government’s conclusion that a North submarine torpedoed the warship, the progressive activist group urged the Security Council to make “a fair and reasonable decision considering all the grounds.”

Prosecutors said yesterday that they will review the conservatives’ complaint to see if there are legal grounds for an investigation.

“We will have to review the petition and the law to see if we should pursue a probe into the charges of violating the National Security Law and defamation and obstruction of duty,” a Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office official said.

The PSPD yesterday issued a new statement about the controversy.

“We are not trying to defend anyone,” it said.

“We want transparent disclosure of information and revelation of truth.”

The group said that sending a letter to the council is not uncommon behavior for NGOs in democratic nations, and that the North will not take advantage of the doubts it raised.

It also said the South Korean government will not benefit by controlling criticism by claiming that dissent could be used to an enemy’s advantage.

Meanwhile, two other progressive civic groups, Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea and Young Korean-Americans in New York, said yesterday that they also sent letters to 11 members of the 15-member UN Security Council, demanding a reinvestigation of the Cheonan’s sinking.

“Should the UN Security Council, without a scientific and objective basis, adopt a resolution or issue a Chairman’s Statement denouncing North Korea for the widely disputed sinking of the Cheonan, it will seriously put into question its ability to be fair and evenhanded, rather it will undermine peace on the Korean peninsula and the rest of the world,” the groups said in the English-language letters.

“This contradicts the UN’s basic role and responsibility to work toward global peace.”

By Ser Myo-ja []
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