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The Druking plot thickens

May 19,2018
Kim Dong-won, a political blogger known as Druking, claimed former Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Kyoung-soo, who is running for a gubernatorial post in the upcoming June elections, more or less approved the idea of using an illicit software program to increase “likes” on online articles and comments in favor of ruling party presidential candidate Moon Jae-in in last year’s race. In a letter sent to a newspaper via his lawyer, the blogger claimed that he showed Kim, a close confidant of Moon, a macro computer program that can automatically click “likes” and add comments to stories when he visited his office in October 2016. When asked if they should use the program for their operation, Kim nodded his head in approval. He went to say that he made daily reports on the articles he and his teammates worked on in their chat room and sent them to the lawmaker on the messaging app Telegram. The lawmaker checked them at around 11 p.m. every night.

In a press conference on April 14, Kim said he learned of the online opinion rigging operation through use of an unlicensed software program by the members of an online community supporting Moon upon a police finding. He said he exchanged messages with Druking to thank a political supporter, but insisted he did not communicate regularly with him.

What the arrested blogger and the former lawmaker claim are completely the opposite, which means one of them is lying. The blogger argues there were others in the office when Kim visited. The police and prosecution should summon them. The candidate for the South Gyeongsang governor’s post must be re-questioned. The police queried Kim as a witness just once early last month despite a slew of new revelations since then.

The blogger also raised suspicions about the prosecution. In the letter, he said he heard from another person also under questioning in the case that a prosecutor ordered testimonies related to the former lawmaker removed from the records. He said prosecutors did not answer when he asked if they had the will to bring in Kim, the former lawmaker. The prosecution claimed the blogger was making up stories after they turned down his offer to cut a deal by testifying against the former lawmaker. Since the questioning is fully recorded, it won’t be difficult to find out who is telling the truth.

A special counsel team can be assembled. The law enforcement authorities must do their work properly in the meantime. They must do their utmost to recover as much evidence as possible.

JoongAng Sunday, May 19, Page 34