The presidential secretary for national defense ordered the cyber warfare command to post political comments online while serving as chief of the command, an opposition lawmaker claimed Tuesday.
Yeon Jae-wook, who headed the command for about two years until October, received daily briefings from one of his subordinates on the top issues dominating Internet sites and social networking services, according to Rep. Jeon Hae-cheol of the main opposition Democratic Party.
The subordinate, then-chief of unit 530 of the command, was recently under investigation by military prosecutors on suspicion of ordering his staff to post political comments online in favor of the conservative ruling camp.
Jeon raised the allegations against Yeon citing the prosecution’s arraignment for the former unit chief, identified only by his surname Lee.
According to the arraignment, Yeon ordered members of the command through Lee to post comments against certain political views on Internet sites, including Twitter.
A total of 2,867 political messages on Twitter and 183 messages on Internet blogs were found to have been posted during Lee’s time in office, Jeon said. Lee served as unit chief for three years until last year.
The lawmaker’s claim could reignite controversy over allegations that several government bodies, including the state spy agency and the cyber warfare command, tried to sway public opinion in favor of the ruling party candidate and current president, Park Geun-hye, by posting political comments online ahead of the December 2012 presidential election.
Following an internal inquiry, the defense ministry concluded last month that no former or present commander had ordered such political maneuvering. (Yonhap News)