Where is the end?

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Where is the end?

There seems to be no end to the scandal involving Choi Soon-sil, a so-called close friend of President Park Geun-hye. Choi is now believed to have been briefed by the presidential office regularly on cabinet meetings, policies on college entrance system, and real estate development. Has the Blue House really been serving two presidents all this time?

The files JTBC got out Choi’s computer tablet included the president’s opening comments for a cabinet meeting in July 2013. The file delivered to Choi three hours before the cabinet meeting had the president’s comment calling for a crackdown on irregularities in the sports community. Choi’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, had filed a complaint with the Korea Equestrian Federation over the result of an equestrian competition a few months before.

Another broadcaster secured a document from Choi’s office with information on 2014 college admission guidelines and policies for aspiring sports majors. Choi’s daughter had been a high school senior at the time and later was accepted to Ewha Womans University as a special sports acceptance case. Choi also had government documents on real estate development policy that affected the neighborhood where Choi owned a building.

The series of evidence suggests that President Park had shared a lot more on state affairs with her friend than the speeches she admitted to. Choi could have used the government documents related to real estate and college entrance for her private interests. Considering presidential archives and documents are administered and managed strictly under the law, they could have landed in the hands of Choi in a systematic way. Most of the files sent to Choi were saved under the account of Jeong Ho-seong, a personal secretary of the president.

The Blue House must explain how such documents were delivered to Choi. Prosecutors must conduct a thorough and credible investigation. How can we rely on the government and presidential office upon learning they shared confidential policy outlines and other sensitive files with a civilian?

JoongAng Ilbo, Oct. 28, page 38
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