Moon Orders Probe into Martial Law Plans During Anti-Park Protests

  • By Jun Hyun-suk, Ahn Jun-yong

    July 11, 2018 12:10

    President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday ordered an independent investigation of revelations that the military considered forcefully cracking down on peaceful mass demonstrations for the ouster of President Park Geun-hye.

    Moon "instructed Defense Minister Song Young-moo to put together a team of independent investigators to swiftly and fairly probe allegations that the Defense Security Command created a document proposing martial law," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

    Moon also ordered an investigation of suspicions that DSC agents spied on the families of victims of the 2014 ferry disaster to determine if they had the potential of turning against the Park administration.

    The defense minister will appoint the chief investigator, but the team will otherwise operate without interference from the ministry.

    The revelations were made by Minjoo Party lawmaker Rhee Cheol-hee, who obtained a DSC document detailing plans to declare martial law. The document was sent to then-Defense Minister Han Min-koo in March last year and details measures to be taken in the event of a national emergency following Park's impeachment by the Constitutional Court.

    Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said, "We need to find out who came up with the idea, who ordered and authorized it, who was briefed and to what extent preparations were made."

    Han is expected to be summoned by investigators, but one of his aides told the Chosun Ilbo in a telephone interview, "The document was simply for internal review that weighed the legal parameters of imposing martial law. It was not submitted to Cheong Wa Dae or the prime minister's office and no further steps were taken."

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