South Korean NGO Casts Doubt on Cheonan

The office of President Lee Myung Bak has reacted with annoyance to news that a domestic NGO, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), has sent a letter to the chair of the present UN Security Council casting doubt on the results of the Cheonan incident investigation, calling the action “irritating and regrettable.”

PSPD, a South Korean NGO which says it aims to encourage citizens to hold their government to account across a broad left wing agenda, sent the letter on the 11th to the UN representatives of Mexico.

In the letter, the writers suggested eight points of contention, insisting, among other things that; the visible column of water seen by a soldier on the shore was not persuasive; there was a lack of explanation about wounds to dead and surviving sailors; and, no serious damage or explosive evidence was found on the cut parts of the ship.

Park Sun Gyu, a spokesperson for the President, responded to the claims today, saying, “The incident was concluded with a scientific and objective investigation featuring international experts and investigators.”

He added, “More than 50 countries have sent us messages saying that they trust us. I really want to ask them for what reason they did this at this moment.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kim Young Sun added, “It is an extremely regrettable act that hinders diplomatic efforts, to which our administration has devoted itself, so that the UN Security Council can take proper measures regarding the Cheonan incident. At a time where the international community is dealing with the Cheonan incident, it is important for our people to be united.”

South Korea will host a briefing on the Cheonan incident at the UN on the 15th to show Security Council members the evidence first hand.

However, North Korea also plans to hold a briefing to state its innocence on the same day. Therefore, the administration is watching carefully whether or not the document PSPD submitted to the Mexicans will be utilized by the North in its briefing.

In any case, officials in diplomatic and security departments of the administration agree that this is tantamount to aiding the enemy, and certainly is a stab in the back for the Lee administration.

Other NGOs agree, and have raised their voices to criticize the PSPD act.

One, Crime against Humanity Investigation Committee, released a statement criticizing PSPD and calling the letter “terrorism against the ROK.”

Another, Right Korea held a demonstration in front of the PSPD building, stating, “The organization should be dismantled for its false claims.” The president of the organization, Bong Tae Hong reported that he is requesting a prosecution investigation into the letter.

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