Put an end to political offensivesRaising suspicion about presidential candidates or a national agency for its potential involvement in the election has become a routine practice in every election. The problem is that all political parties are bent on exaggerating and exploiting these allegations without presenting tangible evidence. A simmering suspicion over a National Intelligence Service agent’s potential intervention in this election for the chief executive office is no exception.
The police said they could not discover any trace of anti-Moon Jae-in posts from the desktop and laptop computers of the 28-year-old female agent, surnamed Kim, who was accused by the opposition Democratic United Party of having posted slanderous comments on scores of portal sites. The police announcement confirmed that she did not spread anti-Moon messages through computers in her apartment, which the DUP singled out as a spot for illegal activity. The police also said that only a court-ordered search and seizure will enable them to investigate whether she used other computers or smartphones to post defamatory comments or what IP addresses she used.
The opposition party strongly refuted the announcement by saying, “We consider it a politically driven decision with only two days left until the election.” Moon jumped on the political bandwagon by arguing that the ruling forces which “have turned our democracy into a crisis for the last five years” attempt to extend their reign by mobilizing the NIS and the police.
Of course, controversy remains over the police announcement: why they unveiled their investigation results two days before the election and why a national intelligence agent used as many as 40 IDs and nicknames, to name a few. But the opposition party needs to understand the police explanation for Kim’s disproportionately large number of IDs, particularly given her role as national intelligence officer and the police’s explication that they need more tangible evidence to request a warrant.
The DUP can hardly expect any further progress in the investigation unless it presents solid evidence to back up its suspicion. The DUP’s efforts to blame the police for allegedly siding with the ruling party candidate without offering conclusive evidence look like a repeat of an old-fashioned political offensive.
Even though negative attacks are considered a necessary evil in election season, they should be stopped when accusations are proved wrong. The DUP must halt its political offensives and apologize for misleading voters. It is time to put an end to the old politics of doubt and distrust.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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