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The president and the ruling party are trying to bring up the issue of the repatriation of North Korean fishermen from North Korea three years ago following the attack of a public official in the West Sea.
Two North Korean sailors who said they wanted to defect were found guilty of killing 16 of their colleagues and sent them back to North Korea.
The passport also continues to require the release of presidential records, but the Democrats have said they will not avoid it if requested.
Reporter Lim Hyeon-joo covered the story.
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President Yoon Seok-yeol, who said it was necessary to find out the truth about the shooting of a public official in the West Sea, also directly mentioned the repatriation of North Korean defectors three years ago today.
“(If you come to Korea), you are considered a citizen of the Republic of Korea according to our constitution, but many people are a little puzzled about the fact that they were repatriated to North Korea…”
The North Korean defector fisherman repatriation case is a case in which two North Korean sailors captured in the East Sea in November 2019 were found guilty of murdering 16 colleagues and returned to North Korea.
The Moon Jae-in administration judged that it was difficult to see this as a normal defection, and some opposition lawmakers at the time also supported the forced deportation at the beginning of the incident.
[이혜훈 정보위원장/당시 미래통합당(2019년 11월 7일)]
“Non-political criminals don’t actually qualify for asylum. I think it’s a huge danger to our people if these kinds of people roam around.”
However, after that, it turned into an offensive against the Moon Jae-in government, saying that it was forcibly repatriating our people, and when he came to power, he repeatedly demanded an investigation into the truth.
It was meant to bring up all issues related to North Korea under the previous administration, but in the process, the president and the ruling party quarreled with each other.
Rep. Ha Tae-kyung, the head of the shooting task force, wanted to disclose special information that included wiretapping at the time of the attack, while President Yoon expressed his displeasure.
[하태경/국민의힘 의원(KBS 라디오 ‘최경영의 최강시사’)]
“There is SI information (special information on North Korea), but the communication interception information is our own asset, not the joint asset. If the Democratic Party agrees, we can read it together.”
“I think that it is not a simple matter to simply disclose (special information) to the public… Isn’t it difficult to accept the claim itself…”
In this situation, the People’s Power repeatedly pressured the Democratic Party to disclose all presidential records.
Then, the Democrats, who were lukewarm about disclosing the records, chose the Jeonggong method, saying that they would not avoid the disclosure.
“If you ask me to do (disclosure of records), I will do everything. There are things I can’t do. But everything will return to a boomerang. Whether such a political intention to turn the public’s attention to something other than the livelihood of the people is justified as the ruling party’s attitude…”
In response, the People’s Power said that they would immediately discuss how to read it, and interest is focused on whether it will lead to actual disclosure.
This is Lim Hyun-joo from MBC News.
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