Updated June. 23, 2014 01:40
Belated reporting is stirring controversy as it turned out that President Park Geun-hye was briefed on the army shooting on the outpost near the North Korean border two hours later from the outbreak of the accident.
The military authorities said on Sunday that Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin who is also serving as the chief of the presidential national security office reported the fact to President Park at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. The reporting was made two hours and 15 minutes after the accident.
The shooting occurred at around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday. At the time, President Park was in a plane returning from her visit to three Central Asian countries. Reporting could have been made via a satellite telephone but the accident was not reported immediately.
It was not an urgent matter requiring the presidents decision, the military said. It was not an fire exchange between the two Koreas and even if President Park had been briefed on this in the plane, no action could have been taken immediately. President Park arrived at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, at around 10:20 p.m., and around 10 minutes later, the president was briefed on the matter from Minister Kim. The military released the details of the accident to the media at around 10:40 p.m.
Some criticize that the reporting should have been made to the president immediately given the severity of the accident. The National Coast Guard and other related agencies delayed accurate reporting of the sinking of the Sewol ferry to the president, which caused the public outcry.
Its been only some two months from the sinking of the ferry, the administration has revealed the problem in reporting again, a source from the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said. When the Defense Committee is held, we will closely investigate the reporting issue.