President Park personally instructs sports minister to help Chung Yu-ra
President Park personally instructs sports minister to help Chung Yu-ra
  • Yoo Heui-jin
  • 승인 2017.01.23 12:06
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Excerpts from the editorial of leading Korean-language daily, Dong-a Ilbo

It has been disclosed that in January 2015 President Park Geun-hye personally called the then Minister of Culture & Sports Kim Jong to the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae and gave him the following instructions: “Miss Chung Yu-ra (daughter of controversial Mrs. Choi Soon-sil) is very highly talented and works very hard as a sports student and such a student must be supported as a government policy. Why are they trying to ‘kill’ (discredit) such an outstanding student?”

From left: President Park Geun-hye, Mrs. Choi Soon-sil, Miss Chung Yu-ra, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism Chong Kim and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong of Samsung Business Group

In July 2015, when President Park had an exclusive meeting with Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong of the Samsung Business Group, President Park is known to have scolded Vice Chairman Lee, “For a promising equestrian, a good horse must be purchased for her and she must also be provided with overseas training and yet this has not been done!”

One is just dumbfounded when one sees the President of a country, who has the highest authority and power in the nation, calling the daughter of Mrs. Choi by name and ordering a government minister and vice minister and the leader of the country’s top business conglomerate to “look after her and buy her a horse.”

(The above sentences are an unofficial English translation of excerpts from the editorial of Korea’s leading daily, Dong-a Ilbo, dated Jan. 21, 2017.)

The unbelievable story above was published by the Korean-language newspaper that is famed for “publishing all the news without fear or favor” since its inauguration during the Japanese Occupation of the Korean Peninsula up to Aug. 15, 1945.

Founded on Jan. 14, 2020 during the Japanese rule of Korea, Dong-a has continuously championed for the freedom and independence of Korea from Japan. Noteworthy from the independence movement of the newspaper is the erasing of the Flag of the Rising Sun of Japan from the chest of the 1936 Marathon Winner Son Ki-jeong on its August 25 1936 edition. For this, Dong-a was ordered by the Japanese Colonial Government in Korea suspension of publication for nine months until June 3, 1937. Motto of the newspaper, then and now, is known to be to “publish all the news without fear or favor.”

Now back to the Dong-Ah editorial concerning President Park and Mrs. Choi Soon-sil, the editorial, brave now as well as then, continues as follows on the President Park-Mrs. Choi case:

President Park is known to have trusted and depended on Mrs. Choi Soon-sil all her life. Ms. Chung used to call President Park ‘auntie’ and President Park must have loved for this. However, the President should not have handled the matter that way. President Park has obviously handled the affairs of the state as a housewife would have behind someone’s back. Isn’t President Park facing an impeachment because she has used for her own private purpose the power entrusted to her by the people violating the principle that power belongs to the people? This makes the people feel frustrated and miserable more than anything else.

Former Presidential Auxiliary Secretary Chung Ho-sung testified at the Presidential Impeachment Hearing the day before yesterday “yes” when he was asked, “Does the President also carries a phone in another person’s name?” Possessing or using a phone not in one’s own name as its owner is against the provisions of the Electronic Communications Business Law and is punishable with a pedal servitude of less than three years or fine of less than 100 million won.

It is a great shock that the close associates of President Park, such as former Senior Presidential Secretary Ahn Jong-bum for Policy Coordination and former Presidential Secretary Chung, used phones in their own name but in other people’s names. It is simply shocking that President Park, who should observe the law as a good example, should herself used such an illegal phone which is in violation of the law.

Former Secretary Chung testified, “The President used the phone in another person’s name due to the possibility of bugging.” He makes us ask back, “Do you mean to say that we are living in a ‘Republic of Telephone Buggers’ where even the President’s conversation could be eavesdropped?”

It also means that President Park used the phone in the name of a bogus owner in order to exchange illegal secret conversations. Conversations which President Park has had using these ‘ownerless’ phones with government ministers, vice ministers and the chairmen of Korea’s jaebeol business have become known one after another—together with the reasons hidden behind using such phones.

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