President Park Geun-hye’s side submitted an official response with regards to the president’s whereabouts during the seven-hour gap during the Sewol disaster, emphasizing that she faithfully executed her duty to protect the right to life.
However, a closer look still leaves questions.
Lee So-young has more.
The documents that President Park Geun-hye’s side submitted to the Constitutional Court about the seven-hour gap during the Sewol disaster starts from 9:53 a.m., right before the accident is reported to the president.
This does not provide a sufficient answer to the questions about whether the president was doing something else in the morning.
Most of her time before 12:50 p.m., at which a phone call with a chief aide for employment and welfare is recorded, is marked as “reviewing reports.”
Not only is it unclear whether she herself reviewed the reports, but the testimony by former administrator Yoon Jeon-choo, who said secretary Ahn Bong-geun went into the office at around 10 a.m., is also missing.
<Lee Joong-hwan / President’s Attorney> “(Did she just look at the reports?) Had she given out any instructions, they would have been recorded. I believe she reviewed the reports to understand what they were about…”
The president’s side emphasized that, after becoming aware of the accident, the president performed her duty, including checking in with the rescue mission and giving orders, but some point out that the response alone is not enough.
In particular, it is difficult to grasp that, even though from 1:45 p.m. the Coast Guard repeatedly reported that not everyone had been rescued, she only made relevant orders after about an hour.
There were also no clear answers to the question of why she continued to stay in the office without a television, despite the massive accident.
The president’s side revealed that they plan to submit phone records with the secretaries and check back on any remaining questions.
Lee So-young reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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