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DP accuses gov't of trying to infringe on police independence

All News 17:07 June 13, 2022

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) accused the government Monday of attempting to infringe on the political neutrality of police, following revelations the interior ministry is considering establishing a new bureau to strengthen its control of police.

The ministry's move to create the "police bureau" comes as police are set to take on more investigative roles from the prosecution under a new law aimed at reducing and ultimately abolishing the prosecution's investigative powers.

Interior minister Lee Sang-min sparked controversy for doing interviews with six police officials who recently got promoted to chief superintendent general positions and could be the next the commissioner general of the National Police Agency.

The DP claims the envisioned bureau could be used to control police for political purposes.

"Yoon Suk-yeol government is trying to retrogress and harm the principles of independent and impartial exertion of police authority," DP floor leader Park Hong-geun said, calling upon Yoon and the interior minister to "immediately" stop their "reckless moves."

Rep. Jeon Hae-cheol, former interior minister, also argued during a radio interview with MBC that the role of the independent National Office of Investigation, which oversees police investigations, should be expanded, not the authority of the interior ministry.

Interior Minister Lee Sang-min (R) and Commissioner General Kim Chang-yong enter the National Policy Agency headquarters in central Seoul for a meeting on June 9, 2022. (Yonhap)


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