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Park should act like former leader of the nation

Posted March. 16, 2017 07:15,   

Updated March. 16, 2017 07:24


Former President Park Geun-hye will go to the prosecution next week for interrogation on her corruption and influence-peddling scandal. The prosecution officially asked Park to come to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on March 21. Her attorneys said she "will faithfully go through the interrogation at the time and date demanded by the prosecution." As a team of special prosecutors identified her as a "conspirator" in 13 criminal charges, including bribery, she faces the interrogation as a criminal suspect. The public is frustrated to have to see yet another former president going through the prosecution's interrogation, becoming the fourth South Korean president to do so after Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo and Roh Moo-hyun.

It is fortunate that Park accedes to the investigation albeit belatedly. The upcoming interrogation is her first since the Choi Soon-sil scandal emerged in October 2016. Although Park publicly promised to cooperate in "finding the truth," she has never responded to investigation by the prosecution and the special prosecutors. She also turned a deaf ear to the Constitutional Court's request for her appearance at the court. All she did was repeatedly pleading innocence in written to the court or videotaped messages to the public, claiming that she had "never abused or exercised her presidential authority to assist in a particular person's pursuit of profits or for her own personal gains." The top court cited her lack of will to defend the Constitution as a major reason for her removal from office. Instead of just pleading innocence, Park should actively cooperate with the prosecutors investigating the truths concerning her charges in order to resolve national suspicions over her.

Park will likely stand in front of the press on March 21. The public will once again see what she has to say to apologize to the people. When she left the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, she betrayed the public who wanted to hear her accepting the court's ruling. In the message read by her former spokesman, Park said that the "truth will be revealed." The statement is interpreted as her refusal to accept the ruling. The president showed her narrow-mindedness by focusing on making her own case, rather than doing or saying nothing in consideration of the frustrated people. Her behavior was worse than just remaining quiet as a token of her repentance.

With the Constitutional Court's decision to remove her from office, the remaining challenges are to find the truth and achieving national unity. The people are uncomfortable to have to see their president being reduced to a criminal suspect. When she stands at the press photo line at the prosecutor's office, she might have her last chance to show her quality and dignity as former president. We expect her to act like a former president for the sake of the country and national unity, rather than making excuses for her own sake.