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Moon calls on police to spur efforts for reform, anticipates success

Politics 16:28 March 12, 2020

SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in called for continued efforts to finish reforming the police on Thursday, stressing that they should conduct investigations responsibly once they have been granted more authority to conduct probes.

Moon made the remarks during his congratulatory message at a commissioning ceremony for new senior police officers at Korean National Police University in Asan, 80 kilometers south of Seoul.

"It is not easy to accomplish two tasks -- making the police conduct probes with responsibility and imposing democratic controls on their authority. But I believe those tasks will be successfully completed," Moon said.

The message came as police are pursuing an internal overhaul amid concerns that the passage of key bills on prosecution reform may grant them excessive power.

In December, the National Assembly passed proposals to create a special non-prosecution agency to look into corruption among high-ranking public officials and allow police to conduct criminal investigations independent of the prosecution.

"For the police, (earning) people's trust is the most important," Moon said.

In regard to the new coronavirus, Moon urged the police not to lower their guard and expressed appreciation for their role in containing its spread.

Officers' families did not attend due to coronavirus concerns. Instead, the event was live-streamed via state-owned broadcaster KTV and social media.

President Moon Jae-in returns a salute at a commissioning ceremony for new senior police officers at Korean National Police University in Asan, 80 kilometers south of Seoul, on March 12, 2020. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in returns a salute at a commissioning ceremony for new senior police officers at Korean National Police University in Asan, 80 kilometers south of Seoul, on March 12, 2020. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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