No moral responsibility for Han?The prosecution's investigation into a case of corruption involving a secretary to the Demo-cratic United Party Chairwoman Han Myeong-sook and a close aide continues. Shim Sang-dae, former deputy secretary of the DUP, is under arrrest for having received 110 million won ($97,000) in cash from a political aspirant in return for lobbying for his nomination for the April 11 legislative election. Shim served as the political affairs planning secretary at the Prime Minister's Office during the Roh Moo-hyun ad-ministration.
The prosecution is also investigating a member of the staff, surnamed Kim, at Han's DUP secretariat for allegedly pocketing 10 million won out of the 110 million won which Shim received from the political client. Prosecutors summoned Kim for further investigation last week after having combed his office with a seizure and search warrant. Both Shim and Kim reportedly received dirty money for promising a ticket to the race to the Assembly-hopeful, who ended up failing to win it.
If her close confidants had committed crimes in the nomination process, Han, as head of the main opposition, should first apologize to the public and then vow that she will take moral responsibility depending on the results of the investigation. Yet she keeps her silence and woos voters on her campaign trail across the nation - as if nothing had happened to her aides.
In 2007, Kim Moon-sook, Han’s secretary, turned out to have received 55 million won in cash and a corporate card from Han Man-ho, then-CEO of a construction company, for a busi-ness favor. Kim was sentenced to 10 months in prison with two years probation last October.
When a low-level staffer of Choi Ku-sik, then a Grand National Party lawmaker, was proven to have been involved in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the homepage of the National Election Commission Web site in the October Seoul mayoral election, Choi pleaded innocence, insisting he had not been aware of it. The DUP, however, demanded that he take blame for the incident. Choi volun-teered to bear moral responsibility and left the party, even though he was proven not to have been involved in the DDos attack at all.
At the time, the DUP rigorously raised suspicion over Choi’s involvement in the attack. But even when her high-profile aides appear to have been involved in corruption in the nomination process, she does not speak a word about it. That's a concerning lack of morality as head of the main opposition.