The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) claimed Wednesday the ongoing investigation into a possible coup plot last year was politically motivated to “wipe out” the conservative party. The LKP said it will take all possible legal measures against what it described as an indiscriminate political offensive backed by President Moon Jae-in and his followers.
Partisan bickering is now escalating over a military document that specified plans for the military to declare martial law and carry out an armed crackdown on protesters if the Constitutional Court rejected the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye last year. The Defense Security Command (DSC) is being investigated for creating the document.
The LKP said it will file a complaint against presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyum and the Military Human Rights Center for Korea (MHRCK), a civic group that disclosed part of the DSC’s classified document, for violating the Military Secret Protection Act.
LKP floor leader Kim Sung-tae said, “The ruling Democratic Party of Korea and the Moon Jae-in administration are trying to set us up and make us look like accomplices in the plot without any evidence. We have nothing to do with the coup plot.”
Insisting it was simply an unexecuted plan, Kim said, “Article 77 of the Constitution stipulates that the president can impose martial law as a contingency in case of emergency.”
Kim raised an allegation Tuesday that the DSC made a similar contingency document under the liberal Roh Moo-hyun administration in 2004 when he was impeached, asking for the document to be submitted to the National Assembly. The DSC immediately refuted it.
Meanwhile, defining the LKP’s actions as misleading the public, the ruling DPK Chairwoman Rep. Choo Mi-ae said the party will form a special task force to deal with the DSC issue.
“The taskforce will reveal the DSC’s past wrongdoings and protect Korea’s democracy so that there will be no more repeats of the military coups on May 16 in 1961 and Dec. 12 1979,” Choo said Wednesday.
“The former LKP floor leader also announced fake news that the DSC was preparing for the declaration of martial law when Roh was impeached. Kim is damaging the reputation of the chief of a military human rights group by degrading personal preferences and distorting the facts.”
On Tuesday, LKP floor leader attacked Lim Tae-hoon, chief of the human rights group, saying “It’s inappropriate to give a gay the steering wheel for military reform.” Kim’s remarks instantly stirred controversy among parties and citizens.
Lim recently played a key role in disclosing a classified military document hinting that the DSC had “illegally” mapped out a plan to mobilize hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles to crush anti-government protesters in late 2016.