Shame on the ruling partyRuling Democratic Party members are showing the ugly side of their tongues. Chairwoman Choo Mi-ae said that the appeals court that freed Lee Jae-yong, the heir of Samsung Group, by acquitting him of most of the bribery and embezzlement charges made by the prosecution made the “most shameful ruling in judiciary history.” She accused the court of licking the boots of chaebol. Park Beom-kye, a senior member of the DP, claimed that the ruling was entirely designed to release Lee. Choo and Park, who previously served the bench, directly questioned and defamed the court and judge.
Anyone can complain about a ruling. But leadership of the ruling party must not challenge the judiciary in a country with a constitutional separation of the three powers. It would be more concerning if politicians hope to move public opinion and influence the trial at the Supreme Court.
The party members also have been lambasting Washington and Tokyo for splashing cold water on the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which President Moon Jae-in has put efforts into becoming a peace-making opportunity by bringing in North Korean officials and participants. Lee Seok-hyun, who previously served as the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, also accused U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of coming to the PyeongChang opening ceremony as party poopers. Lee violently criticized the opposition party for finding fault with North Korea’s military parade on the eve of the PyeongChang Olympics opening. Chung Se-hyun, who formerly served as unification minister under President Roh Moo-hyun, lashed out at the Japanese prime minister for his “audacity” to talk about the resumption of South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises. The two leaders are state representatives of the two global powers the government worked hard to invite to the opening ceremony. They represent our key security allies. It is embarrassing for ruling party leaders to speak as the mouthpiece for Pyongyang.
The president must come forward and make them watch their mouths. President Moon has also practiced law. He should plead his party members to respect the judiciary and foreign guests regardless of their difference in opinions.
JoongAng Ilbo, Feb. 8, Page 30
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