NATIONAL

Moon slams main opposition over diplomatic leak

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : May 29, 2019 - 17:53
  • Updated : May 29, 2019 - 17:53

President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday criticized the main opposition Liberty Korea Party over developments surrounding the leak of diplomatic information.

“It is disgraceful when the country’s diplomatic secrets are leaked, and are being used for political wrangling,” Moon said at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting. He was referring to Liberty Korea Party Rep. Khang Hyo-shang, who used classified information about his telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump to criticize the administration.

President Moon Jae-in speaks at Wednesday`s Cabinet meeting. Yonhap

Apologizing for the leak, Moon called on the government to step up security and discipline in the civil service, describing the events as unthinkable.

He went on to criticize the main opposition party for defending Khang’s actions.

“I express deep regret at the party’s actions of using even a telephone conversation between state leaders, which can be very diplomatically sensitive, to gain political brownie points,” Moon said.

“If (Liberty Korea Party) is a political party that aims to win the public’s support to run state affairs in the future, I request that (the party) uphold the basics and common sense, at least with regards to issues related to the fundamentals of running a country.”

Following Khang’s comments, it has been revealed that he received the information from a South Korean diplomat stationed in the US.

Khang and the main opposition party claim that the diplomat was acting in the interest of the nation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since filed a criminal complaint against him, saying that he revealed classified information.

The ruling Democratic Party, which filed a criminal complaint against Khang, is also raising the pressure on the main opposition party, urging it to penalize Khang.

“(Liberty Korea Party) making excuses that it is the people’s right to know after threatening diplomacy and security is fooling the people,” Rep. Lee In-young, the ruling party floor leader, said at Wednesday’s party meeting, adding that he will ensure that any lawmaker committing a crime will be brought to justice.

“I strongly urge the Liberty Korea Party to stop disappointing the people, and to take stern measures against Khang. That is the way for it to stop damaging the Korea-US alliance.”

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)