The office of President Park Geun-hye bristled Friday at the main opposition party likening an election meddling scandal involving the state intelligence agency to the 1960 presidential election rigging that forced the resignation of then-President Rhee Syng-man.
Earlier this week, members of the main opposition Democratic Party issued an open letter urging Park to learn a lesson from the case in which the Rhee government employed a series of illicit means to help him win re-election in the March 1960 vote.
The rigging sparked nationwide uprisings in April of that year, dubbed the April 19 Revolution, that ultimately forced Rhee to resign.
“I hope they won‘t cross the line as a political party,” senior presidential press secretary Lee Jung-hyun told reporters, referring to the DP’s open letter.
The scandal centers on allegations that the National Intelligence Service mobilized some of its agents to post Internet comments critical of the opposition candidate in last December‘s presidential election in an attempt to sway public opinions.
Park has sought to distance herself from the scandal, only saying she neither had any knowledge of the alleged operations by the spy agency, nor did she benefit from them. She has also rejected the opposition’s demand for one-on-one talks, saying such dialogue should be held in a broader setting including also the leaders of the ruling party.
The opposition has pressured Park to state her position on the scandal more clearly, order a thorough probe into the scandal and overhaul the intelligence agency.