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Truth is the answer

Aug 31,2019
The ruling Democratic Party’s effort to rescue Cho Kuk, the embattled justice minister nominee, has reached a strange level, with President Moon Jae-in’s son indirectly urging Cho’s daughter — who is under attack for her seemingly irregular admissions to prestigious schools — to raise her voice against a plethora of hostile allegations. On Facebook Thursday, Moon Joon-yong blamed the public for not “mentioning the efforts she has made on her own.”

It is unprecedented for a son of a president to make public his support for one of his father’s nominations to a top government post. It is yet to be seen if Moon’s son made the comment on Facebook on his own or after consulting with the Blue House. But the act of promoting his father’s decision on social media can be misunderstood as President Moon’s will.

Moon Joon-yong’s logic is not very solid. Despite his compassion and support for Cho’s daughter, she was listed as the first author on a medical research paper during a two-week internship at a medical school and received scholarships for six semesters even though she flunked two semesters at Pusan National University Medical School. Her professor admitted it was excessive.

Ryu Si-min, head of a foundation honoring former President Roh Moo-hyun, also went too far. He vehemently attacked the prosecution’s ongoing investigation of Cho. He accused the opposition Liberty Korea Party of being behind Seoul National University students’ candlelight vigils protesting Cho’s nomination.

President Moon’s Senior Secretary for Political Affairs, Kang Ki-jung, joined the chorus by clicking “like” on a Facebook comment that demanded punishment for Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl for reportedly leaking some details of his investigation of the justice nominee. But it was President Moon who ordered stricter investigations of the powers that be when he nominated Cho as justice minister.

Prosecutors under Yoon’s leadership are expanding the scope of their probe. Not only college students but also medical doctors, legal experts and professors are calling for Cho’s abandoning his nomination. In a recent Gallup Korea poll, 57 percent of the people opposed Cho’s appointment while 27 percent supported it.

The government and ruling party must face reality. To resolve the mounting public outrage, they must help the prosecution get to the bottom of all suspicions. Truth is the answer.

JoongAng Ilbo, Aug. 31, Page 30