With 2017, a new year of hope has dawned, but the Choi Soon-sil government affairs still intensifies the confusion in Korea. The main point of the Choi Soon-sil government affairs is that they were not evoked by just one person or by a minority of politicians, but so many people intervened to take national interests for themselves. Every day, the news broadcasts new facts, and citizens who see a lot of news are confused and exhausted. Political and social conflicts continue domestically, and to make matters worse, some diplomatic problems such as THAAD deployment and the comfort women problem among Korea and Japan are current issues. Confused Korea: what revealed facts are aggravating social disorder?
The Civilian Who Navigated A President: Choi Soon-sil’s Government Administration Intervention
Project to Make Park Geun-hye Korean President
What is the key point of Choi Soon-sil gate? The start line and key point is relationship between Park Geun-hye and Choi Tae-min, Choi Soon-sil’s father. Park Geun-hye’s family has a special bond with Choi Tae-min. Many episodes during Park Chung-hee’s time in power show how Choi Tae-min’s family has taken hold of Park Geun-hye. As time goes by, there were some turning points to break the chain of collusive ties between politicians and businessmen. However, many related people passed these facts with silence. Recently, Choi Jae-seok, who is son of Choi Tae-min and half-brother of Choi Soon-sil, insisted that Choi Tae-min saved money (about a trillion won) to make Park Geun-hye Korea president. Also, Choi Tae-min hid most of the fortune secretly abroad. Testimony which revealed the fortune project to make Park Geun-hye Korean president showed the affinitive relationship between Park and Choi.
Choi Soon-sil’s Tablet PC: The Reason Why We Should Check
A lot of news has been broadcasted by various broadcasters. The first related news was about Choi Soon-sil’s tablet PC by JTBC on October 24th, 2016. Lately, Jang Si-ho, niece of Choi Soon-sil and representative of the Korea Winter Sports Elite Center, submitted a second Choi Soon-sil tablet PC to the special prosecutor. Then, why should Choi Soon-sil’s tablet PC be investigated? Park Geun-hye leaked national secrets and confidential information to Choi Soon-sil through the tablet PC. Actually, some camouflaged confidential documents’ presence was confirmed in her tablet PC. As the course of the outflow was the tablet PC, special prosecutors in Korea are trying to investigate them thoroughly.
Democratic Country Korea without President: Representative of Citizens
Directly after the Choi Soon-sil gate issue was unveiled to the public, the phrase “Park Geun-hye should resign” was spread. Many Koreans demanded the president to step down. However, Park Geun-hye opened three statements to defend herself. She only talked about what she wanted to transfer to Koreans. Many experts analyzed that Park Geun-hye did not consider presidential resignation because she could be protected a lot under the president position in prosecution investigations. For this reason, impeachment was realized.
By the end of conflicts between Korean citizens and some members of the National Assembly who tried to consider their benefits first, the impeachment motion was approved on December 9th, 2016. The result was absent one vote, approved by 234 votes, and disagreed by 56 votes, while seven votes were invalid. Six procedures of impeachment are allowed in democratic nations. A majority of National Assembly enrolled members, over 151 votes, is required to move to impeach the president. Then, it brought in a bill to the National Assembly general meeting. If it is passed with over two-thirds of enrolled members, the presidential right is stopped from that time. After this proclamation, the Constitutional Court impeachment judgment is allowed. This should be signed within 180 days directly after submission of the National Assembly’s impeachment resolution. If impeachment is decided according to the agreement of over eight judges, the next president should be selected within 60 days. Koreans are going through the formalities of impeachment. The first-ever president who come under suspicion of government affairs is Park Geun-hye and it has been revealed that her assistants passed national documents to a civilian. Also, the crime of abuse of official authority that Park extorted major companies such as Samsung by misusing her presidential position cannot be ignored.
Investigation of State Administration: Truth Rising to the Surface and ‘I Don’t Know’ Witnesses
Summary of First, Second, Third Investigations
The first investigation of state administration attracted Koreans more than ever. Nine heads of large companies attended. What is their common background? It is that all of them are successors who inherited their positions from their fathers. They have cozy relations between politics and business. Above all, Lee Jae-yong, Samsung vice-chairman had the spotlight of Koreans and members of the National Assembly. Unlike other successors’ response time, which was less than five minutes each, Lee Jae-yong responded for over forty minutes due to the Mir Foundation intervention doubt and Samsung local products merger process. The key point of the first investigation is that successors found it difficult to refuse the Korean presidential residence’s request and they therefore invested.
The main members of Choi Soon-sil gate appeared in the second investigation, but Choi Soon-sil refused to attend with the reason that she has “Airport Disorder” ( not panic disorder). Many Koreans are outraged because she is lying by writing the wrong disease name. Kim Ki-choon, former Chief Presidential Secretary answered, “I don’t know anything,” consistently. The media and Koreans gave him the nickname “Law Mudfish.” Also, Go Yeong-tae, the first informant of Choi Soon-sil gate, testified facts. Doubt whether Park and Choi received medical favors is dealt with in the third investigation. Nurse officers and the president’s consulting doctors attended. However, the fact that attracted Koreans’ attention was about Park’s events on April 16th, 2014, the day of the Sewol disaster. Questions to reveal how Park coped with this accident at that time headed to assistants, but witnesses consistently answered, “I don’t know.”
Summary of Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Investigations
The main theme of the fourth investigation was regarding Jung Yoo-ra’s supposed illicit admission and privilege. Through Ewha Woman’s University students’ protest, the fact that Jung Yoo-ra reaped benefits from professors was confirmed. When members of the National Assembly asked the fact, professors and people in charge of Ewha were busy to shift the responsibility to each other. Above all, Professor Kim Yeong-suk was called up due to perjury. Koreans leveled criticism that Korean professors concentrate on politics, not on research. In the fifth investigation, Woo Byeong-woo, former Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs and the nurse office attended. Especially, Woo Byeong-woo is famous for misuse of authority through telling about the prosecutions investigation beforehand to Choi Soon-sil. As a result, he could advance in office speedily. The photos of Woo staring at a female reporter with his arms folded who asked him about his wife’s parents’ home while investigating caused a stir.
In the sixth investigation, members of the commission of inquiry visited detention centers. Some visited the Seoul detention center where Choi Soon-sil is detained and others visited the Seoul southern detention center where Ahn Jong-beom and Jeong Ho-sung are detained. Investigations are closed because witnesses refused live broadcasts. During the investigation, Choi Soon-sil consistently tried to stop, persisting about her health problem. The seventh investigation was the settlement investigation. The purpose is to make attendance for those who did not attend investigations or refused orders of accompanying or have suspicion of false testimony. However, almost all witnesses refused to attend and Jo Yoon-sun, former minister of the Ministry of Culture attended. The belief is that Jo wrote a blacklist. Jo and Kim Ki-choon wrote a blacklist of culture to exclude support for cultured people who moved against the government. Special prosecutors are investigating more witnesses related to the Ministry of Culture and it is revealed that this blacklist of culture existed and was executed.
The Road Where Democracy Should Go
Controversy of President Schedule Opened
The endless debate surrounds the issue of Park Geun-hye’s responsibility as president. Above all, controversy about Park’s schedule during the Sewol Ferry accident continues. Endless belief that Park was receiving artificial plastic beauty procedures at that time appears, but trustworthy testimony is absent. The Blue House keeps taking a position that they are hard to disclose the privacy of a female president. On the other hand, in another democratic nation, the USA, President Obama disclosed all schedules he had on the White House homepage address. Unlike Park Geun-hye’s single appointment “Visiting central disaster and safety countermeasures headquarters in afternoon,”’, Obama showed over ten appointments in the hours of April 16th, 2014. Public opinion that a president who is representative of citizens in a democratic country should show all schedules has spread fast.
Who Is the Appropriate Leader?
As Koreans undergo national criminal investigations and the unprecedented impeachment of the president, a survey showed a variation of Koreans’ desired leadership image. Koreans prefer a leader who can deal well with economic policy. Likewise, Koreans who answered the survey indicated that the most important ability for a leader is to be oriented towards economic policy. However, the difference with before Choi Soon-sil gate is that Koreans also regard morality as one of the best qualities for president. The conditions which leaders should have reflect the times and circumstances. For example, former president Lee Myeong-bak could be selected due to his economic democratization influence. Changed requirements toward leaders can be reflected through Koreans’ vote.
The saying “A candle goes out when the wind rises,” lighted a fire to Koreans. After JTBC’s first broadcast of Choi Soon-sil’s tablet PC, so many facts have been shed light upon during the last five months. Every day, new shocking facts make Koreans surprised. Koreans tried to transmit citizens’ opinion by participating in the candlelight rally and it finally led to unprecedented impeachment of the Korean president. Meanwhile, unbelievable facts are revealed and it is predicted that there are still unrevealed facts. Civilians such as Choi Soon-sil intervened in national offices and Korean president Park Geun-hye, who misused her authority, will be recorded in Korean history. Koreans should pay attention to politics continuously and concentrate on every issue in our society.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >