Yoon Seok-youl shoots down DP claims he has something to hide
Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl on Tuesday said he has no skeleton in the closet, confronting claims by ruling party politicians that they are in possession of secret information that could destroy any shot he has at becoming president.
“I have nothing to hide to stand in front of the people,” Yoon said in a statement released Tuesday through his spokesman Lee Sang-rok. “If I had anything to hide, I could have not withstood political attacks over the past eight years.”
Yoon also said the ruling party must stop their political campaign against him by citing an “irresponsible and slanderous document without a clear origin.” He demanded his critics make public their accusations and sources in order to lay bare the truth and hold accountable those who conducted illegal surveillance of him.
Last month, Democratic Party Chairman Song Young-gil ignited the controversy by saying that he has been creating a file against Yoon by collecting suspicions surrounding the former prosecutor general, who became the presidential frontrunner of the conservatives.
While Song did not elaborate on the specifics of the so-called “X-file” of Yoon, a conservative political commentator fueled the controversy on Saturday. Jang Seong-cheol, a former aide to the PPP’s heavyweight Kim Moo-sung, wrote that he had obtained the file that listed suspicions surrounding Yoon, his wife and mother-in-law, and the contents were serious enough to end any of Yoon’s presidential dreams.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Jang continued to talk about the file. In multiple radio interviews, Jang said he can make public the contents of the file if doing so is not a legal violation.
In his interview with the CBS radio, Jang said he believes a state agency must have been involved in creating the file. Asked if it were the Financial Supervisory Service, prosecution or National Intelligence Service, Jang refused to elaborate further, but said he knows which agency was behind the creation of the file.
Yoon said Tuesday that if a state agency or the ruling party were involved in collecting information against him and compiling a file, it “clearly amounts to illegal surveillance.”
He also said he has never influenced any investigation against his family members including his mother-in-law.
The Blue House said it has no comment on Yoon’s remarks about a possible illegal surveillance against him.
Asked if the Blue House was aware of any corruption allegations surrounding Yoon’s family during the vetting process before naming him as the prosecutor general, a presidential aide said, “I do not know how far the scrutiny had gone at the time.”
Shortly after President Moon Jae-in took office in May 2017, the new liberal president handpicked Yoon, who suffered a series of demotions during the administration of Park Geun-hye, to head the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. Yoon was promoted to prosecutor general in July 2019.
He resigned in March this year to challenge Moon’s campaign to weaken the state prosecution service.
Chairman Lee Jun-seok of the main opposition People Power Party, who has urged Yoon to join the conservative party’s presidential primary, said Tuesday that he has no plan to address the issue. “I have not seen this so-called X-file,” Lee said. “Most of all, I think it will contain inaccurate or meaningless allegations, so I don’t want to react hastily.”
BY SER MYO-JA [firstname.lastname@example.org]