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Ruling party slams ex-President Moon as slain official probe deepens

Politics 14:33 December 05, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- The ruling People Power Party (PPP) ramped up criticism of former President Moon Jae-in on Monday after he slammed the recent arrest of his then national security adviser in connection with the 2020 death of a South Korean fisheries official at the hands of North Korea.

On Saturday, former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon was arrested on charges of involvement in the Moon administration's conclusion without sufficient evidence that the fisheries official was killed while attempting to defect to the North.

That conclusion was reversed since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office in May, with the Coast Guard and the military looking into the case again and concluding that there was no evidence to suggest that the ill-fated official attempted to defect.

Moon has strongly protested Suh's arrest.

"It is difficult to again find an asset of trust like Suh Hoon, equipped with years of experience and expertise," Moon wrote on Facebook on Sunday. "It is deeply regrettable that they took down such an asset."

On Monday, PPP floor leader Joo Ho-young lashed out at Moon, urging him to "come to his senses."

"The current prosecution investigation is being conducted legitimately in accordance with the judicial system. It's no political revenge at all," Joon said during a party meeting, claiming that it was the Moon administration that took revenge on the preceding administration.

Suh's arrest suggests the investigation could target other key officials of the previous administration, including former National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won, and even Moon himself.

Park also branded Suh's arrest as "political revenge" targeting the former president, claiming that the court's decision goes against national interests and will not be welcomed by North Korea and the U.S. intelligence service.

National Security Adviser Suh Hoon (C) arrives at the Seoul Central District Court on Dec. 2, 2022, to attend a review on his arrest warrant over allegations involving the death of a South Korean fisheries official who was shot to death by North Korean soldiers while drifting in the North's territorial waters in the West Sea in September 2020. Suh was accused of involvement in the then Moon Jae-in government's conclusion without sufficient evidence that the fisheries official was killed while attempting to defect to the North. He was also suspected of ordering key security officials to delete internal intelligence reports running counter to the conclusion. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

National Security Adviser Suh Hoon (C) arrives at the Seoul Central District Court on Dec. 2, 2022, to attend a review on his arrest warrant over allegations involving the death of a South Korean fisheries official who was shot to death by North Korean soldiers while drifting in the North's territorial waters in the West Sea in September 2020. Suh was accused of involvement in the then Moon Jae-in government's conclusion without sufficient evidence that the fisheries official was killed while attempting to defect to the North. He was also suspected of ordering key security officials to delete internal intelligence reports running counter to the conclusion. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Ruling People Power Party floor leader Joo Ho-young speaks at a party response meeting at the National Assembly on Dec. 5, 2022. (Yonhap)

Ruling People Power Party floor leader Joo Ho-young speaks at a party response meeting at the National Assembly on Dec. 5, 2022. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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