‘Stop making this about politics,’ says family of man killed by North Korea

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‘Stop making this about politics,’ says family of man killed by North Korea

Democratic Party lawmakers hold a protest outside the Seoul office of the Board of Audit and Inspection on Tuesday to condemn the latest investigations into the Moon Jae-in administration. (Yonhap)

The family of Lee Dae-jun, the South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korean soldiers in 2020, hit back at the Democratic Party of Korea’s claim that the ongoing investigations were a “political vendetta” against former President Moon Jae-in.

Kwon Young-mi, the widow of the late official, told The Korea Herald that she was “wary of” the opposition lawmakers characterizing the investigations to be about Moon or his administration.

“This is about children who lost their father and the family left behind wanting to know the truth and doing what they can to right any wrongs,” she said over the phone.

She said the opposition party was “constantly politicizing” the truth-searching efforts after the death of her husband. “This is not political. Some of the investigations opened after we (the family) filed charges,” she said.

On reports Moon was “displeased” with the ongoing investigations, she said she wished to remind him of his letter to her then-teenage son two years ago, in which the president said he would “see to it that the truth is revealed.”

“If President Moon wants justice for him (Lee), who was an official for this country’s government, he has no reason not to cooperate,” she said.

Rep. Youn Kun-young, who previously served in the Moon administration, said in an MBC radio interview on Tuesday that the former president called the Board of Audit and Inspection’s letter requesting a written interview “rude” and said that he was “displeased.”

Moon returned the letter because “there is no reason for him to go along with it,” Youn said. The lawmaker then said that he suspected Yoon Suk-yeol presidential office to be “behind the move.”

Democratic Party lawmakers staged a protest outside the state auditors and inspectors’ office for the second day on Wednesday, saying they have “fallen to become tools for political retaliation.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the Democratic Party said the investigations into Lee’s killing were the Yoon administration’s “attempts to smear and embarrass” Moon.

Democratic Party chair Rep. Lee Jae-myung accused the Yoon administration of “targeting the former president” and “waging a political vendetta, like an authoritarian regime would do.”

“Our party will not stand by it,” he said.

In a separate statement on the same day, 17 Democratic Party lawmakers said the law enforcement and state agencies were “abusing their powers to harass the preceding administration.” That Moon himself would face investigation was “utterly shocking,” they said.

“Does the Yoon administration want people to fill the streets with candles in their hands?” posed Democratic Party spokesperson Park Sung-joon, alluding to a series of protests that took place in 2016 and 2017 calling for the impeachment of Park Geun-hye, Moon’s conservative predecessor.

The ruling People Power Party said in response that the investigative authorities were “only doing their jobs,” and that the opposition party’s “political maneuvering should not get in the way of accountability-seeking in the death of a South Korean citizen.”

By Kim Arin ([email protected])


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