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Opposition bloc raises heat on NSC chief, senior presidential aide

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party raised the heat on Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday, calling for the removal from office of two of President Moon Jae-in’s top aides.

The main opposition accuses national security office chief Chung Eui-yong of perjury and senior secretary for political affairs Kang Gi-jung of insulting the National Assembly, in connection with their actions during the parliamentary audit of the presidential office Friday. 

Liberty Korea Party floor leader Rep. Na Kyung-won speaks at a party meeting on Tuesday. Yonhap
Liberty Korea Party floor leader Rep. Na Kyung-won speaks at a party meeting on Tuesday. Yonhap

“Chung no longer has the right to sit in the post of the national security office chief. It is right that he steps down immediately,” Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Na Kyung-won said Tuesday, citing Chung’s statements about North Korea’s missile capabilities.

At Friday’s audit, Chung stated that North Korea lacked the capabilities to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles from a mobile platform. On Monday, however, National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon and Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo contradicted that statement. Suh was attending the parliamentary audit of the NIS, while Jeong was speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary defense committee.

Citing Suh and Jeong’s responses, Na accused Chung of lying to the parliament.

The accusations against Kang also arose during Chung’s appearance at the National Assembly.

During the audit, Na told Chung to stop falsely insisting that South Korea is capable of defending itself against North Korean missiles.

When Na repeated her accusations, Kang took issue with her choice of words, shouting his objections at the opposition floor leader. Cheong Wa Dae has yet to respond to the main opposition’s demands for an apology and Kang’s removal.

“Kang shouting and jumping in when the opposition floor leader is pointing out Chung fooling the public is an atrocity that cannot be overlooked,” Na said.

She also took issue with the lack of any response from Cheong Wa Dae, saying it was not a matter that could be smoothed over with time.

“(If Moon) insists on such a political affairs secretary, it is an expression of Cheong Wa Dae’s intentions to go to war against the opposition party.”

Minor conservative opposition Bareunmirae Party is also raising the heat on Cheong Wa Dae.

“It is unclear whether the chief of the national security office does not know, or has been duped, when the NIS chief admitted the mobility of (North Korean) ICBMs,” Bareunmirae Rep. Ji Sang-wuk said at a party meeting.

“Kang Gi-jung and Chung Eui-yong must be replaced.”

By Choi He-suk (