Moon must answer

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Moon must answer

Former head of main opposition Moon Jae-in’s response to the baffling exposé by former foreign minister Song Min-soon about how Seoul arrived to a decision to abstain from a UN vote on North Korean human rights violations does not befit a promising presidential candidate.

The main issues sparked by a memoir by a foreign minister under President Roh Moo-hyun revolve around how a meeting at the presidential office on Nov. 18, 2007 — led by then-presidential chief of staff Moon — concluded to confer the matter of deciding Seoul’s vote first with Pyongyang, whether a memo delivered to President Roh two days later was an answer from Pyongyang, and what Moon’s position was throughout the entire affair.

To the first question, Moon replied that it was the administration’s sophisticated statesmanship to tap North Korean response and collect intelligence. To the second, he said the matter could be better explained by then-key policymakers. He avoided answering the third question by saying he did not remember well.

The commander in chief is the last to make decisions on all public affairs. Since public lives and safety as well as national foundation hinge on unification, foreign and defense policies, a candidate aspiring to become one must be able to clearly speak on his or her security philosophy, action plan, and awareness of the circumstances and judgment anytime anywhere. Moon is plainly irresponsible for evading the issue by slamming all the suspicions around him as an ideological attack.

The media would not have paid any attention to his past deeds if the former presidential candidate did not have ambitions to bid again in the next presidency.

The people have the right to ask a promising presidential candidate about his thoughts and past role in North Korean affairs. The contender also must be sincere in answering the questions and clearing away any ambiguities.

If not, he should not think about running for the state leader who has the constitutional duty to work toward unification and stand as the chief commander of the military. Moon so far has not made any public comments on the questions around his role. He wrote some scribblings on his
social networking page. But he must address the people, not just those loyal to him, if he truly hopes to become the president of this country.

JoongAng Ilbo, Oct. 18, Page 30
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