A loyalist of former President Lee Myung-bak lashed out at the current presidential office and state agencies Wednesday, accusing them of intervening too deeply in domestic political affairs.
Lee Jae-oh, a five-term lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, made the remarks at a meeting of senior party officials and lawmakers, referring to recent controversies surrounding the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI).
He also expressed outrage at the strong statements issued by the presidential office on the scandals, saying that the office should refrain from taking a stance on political disputes.
The NIS has recently come under fire for declassifying and disclosing a transcript of the 2007 inter-Korean summit following the ruling party’s claims that then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun undermined the country’s sovereignty by effectively agreeing to scrap the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea.
The BAI has also been accused of political bias after it released a report last week saying that the previous Lee Myung-bak government, which finished its five-year term early this year, conducted a 22.2 trillion won ($19.5 billion) river refurbishment project in a way that resulted in bid rigging and increased costs.
Rep. Lee served as a special affairs minister in the previous government.
“The reason the political situation has turned so tense is because of the NIS,” Lee said at the meeting. “If the NIS hadn’t tossed the summit transcript to the National Assembly, the ruling party would have resolved the situation, but that’s where things started to go wrong.”
The NIS chief Nam Jae-joon and BAI chief Yang Kun should both resign in order to bring back stability to state affairs, he added.
“If (the BAI) keeps releasing different inspection results on the work of the previous administration, wouldn’t it again conduct a customized audit on the work of the current government when the next administration steps in?” (Yonhap News)