The suspicious six hours

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

The suspicious six hours

Suspicions are snowballing over what former President Moon Jae-in was doing for six hours when a South Korean fisheries official was killed in the Yellow Sea in September 2020. According to military intelligence collected by a task force of the People Power Party (PPP), the Ministry of National Defense found that the fisheries official had been discovered by North Korean Navy at 3:30 p.m., Sept. 22, 2020. That information was delivered to the president around 6:30 p.m., three hours before the North Korean Navy shot him to death. That means Moon had enough time to take steps to rescue him. But the president didn’t do anything, the task force said.

Relatives of the deceased official have been pleading with the Moon administration to disclose what Moon was doing during the nerve-racking six hours. A brother of the slain official demanded the Yoon Suk-yeol administration first find out what the former president was doing during that time. Moon explained that he could not deal with the incident properly due to severed communication lines between South and North Korea. But that proved untrue. According to the Defense Ministry, inter-Korean military communication lines managed by the United Nations Command were available at the time. In fact, the Moon administration sent a notice to North Korea through that telephone line.

Shortly after the slaughter of the official, the Blue House held an emergency meeting from 1 am, September 23. But Moon did not attend. Government officials said the former president had been briefed about the incident at 8:30 a.m. that day. But Moon keeps mum. Instead, he is busy sharing photos of his post-retirement life, including the moments of his hiking with his wife, on social media.

In a letter to Moon, the son of the killed official asked, “What did the country do when my dad was murdered?” In response, Moon promised he would do his best to find the truth behind the official’s suspicious death. But the president ordered related sensitive data to be kept secret after classifying them as “presidential records.” Moon must clearly explain what he was doing at that time.

The Blue House under Moon is also suspected of defining the incident as a case of “voluntary defection.” According to the PPP task force, the word “defection” appears only once in the defense ministry’s surveillance of seven hours of conversations among North Koreans. Based on that, the Joint Chiefs of Staff lowered the possibility of defection in its first report to the Blue House. Since the Ministry of the Interior and Safety took the position at that time that the data could hardly be designated as “presidential records,” the current administration must get to the bottom of this.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)