The South Korean Coast Guard has warned of legal actions over allegations that the Sewol’s communication log with the Vessel Traffic Service was fabricated.
Local broadcaster SBS on Sunday raised suspicions that parts of the communication log revealed on April 20 were deleted and the conversation was rearranged.
“We will seek all possible legal actions against the broadcaster, including filing a complaint with the state-run Press Arbitration Commission,” the Coast Guard said in a statement, immediately after the documentary was aired.
Bae Myung-jin, professor of sound engineering at Soongsil University in Seoul, claimed in an interview with SBS that some sections in the log were deliberately deleted and edited.
“Some sections may have been intentionally deleted or overlaid with other files,” Bae said in the interview.
An incumbent controller of a ship, who declined to be named, also raised questions about the file, saying that the condition of the recording was “unusually bad.”
After the show’s airing, the Coast Guard officials explained that the files were edited based on the Act on the Protection, Use of Location Information.
“We only deleted location information and names of other vessels included in the file. There has been no fabrication or editing for other purposes,” the officials said.
“(Other than that), the disclosed communication record with the VTS is the original file ... The noise comes from being mixed with different channels,” they said.
The officials added that they would act sternly against false media reports regarding the Coast Guard.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)