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 [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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천영우 차관 “정부, 고발 검토”




MB 5·24 천안함 선언 이후라이트코리아, 6·25 남침피해유족회, 고엽제전우회, 실향민중앙협의회 등 보수단체들은 15일 “참여연대의 ‘천안함 서한’ 발송이 반국가 행위에 해당하는지 조사해달라”는 내용의 수사 의뢰서를 대검찰청에 제출했다. 이에 따라 검찰은 서한 발송의 불법성 여부에 대한 조사에 들어간다. 대검 관계자는 이날 “수사의뢰서 내용을 파악한 다음 곧바로 서울중앙지검에 배당할 계획”이라고 말했다. 이번 사건을 맡을 가능성이 큰 서울중앙지검 공안1부도 참여연대 서한의 내용에 어떤 법적 문제가 있는지 등에 관한 사전 검토 작업에 들어갔다.

검찰이 우선적으로 눈여겨보는 부분은 국가보안법 위반 혐의를 적용할 수 있는지다. 보안법상 이적(利敵) 행위는 반국가단체를 이롭게 할 목적으로 벌이는 행위를 총괄하는 개념이다. 이번 사건의 경우 참여연대의 서한 발송에 북한에 도움을 주겠다는 의도가 있었는지가 관건이다. 참여연대는 논란이 커지자 “북한을 위해 유엔 안전보장이사회에 서한을 보낸 것이 아니다”고 강조했다. 그러나 우리 정부 조사단의 조사 결과에 의혹을 제기하면서 북한이 내세운 주장을 그 근거로 삼았다는 사실이 확인된다면 얘기가 달라진다.


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