More potential trouble for Park Geun-Hye? Her office apparently spied on members of the judiciary, including the nation’s top justice(대법원장), Yang Seung-Tae(양승태). Yang is sort of equivalent to Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court. The allegation was made by a former newspaper executive, Cho Han-Gyu (조한규), who used to run Segye Ilbo (세계일보).
Cho used to run Segye Ilbo until he was pressured to resign in 2015, after he reported that Park was relying on “secret advisors who wielded undue influence.” We hear about this a lot these days — “secret advisors,” “undue influence,” “unchecked power.” You call this ‘비선실세’ in Korean, which roughly translates to power being secretly wielded by an unelected person, hidden from public view. This has happened before in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, when a shaman named Jin-Ryung Goon(진령군) served as a close confidant of then queen(명성황후) and king(고종). This shaman gained the trust of the Joseon royalty when some of her predictions came true. And guess what – those predictions came to her in a dream. Notice the similarity? I will discuss the parallels between this case and Choi Soon-Sil, as well as the elder Choi, the infamous Choi Tae-Min, later in a separate post. The parallels are uncanny and it looks like another one is about to take shape — both end badly for the official authority in power.
But back to Mr. Cho and his 8 secrets. When Cho made his revelation back in November 2014, it wasn’t so easy to prove that Park had such advisors. There wasn’t much evidence. So Park and her handlers put pressure on Mr. Cho to resign from his newspaper for spreading “groundless and defamatory” information. It is shockingly easy to be accused of libel and defamation in South Korea, in case you didn’t know.
Upon resigning, Cho said he took “eight sealed documents”from his office. These eight documents would reveal “scandalous items” that would bring down the Park regime. But then he would hold back and refuse to disclose what those items are. For example, back in November 2016, just a month ago, he said, if he revealed those “eight scandalous items,” the Park regime would fold: “these … would shake not only the President but also the country’s legislat[ure], judiciary and administration to their roots.”
Here was Cho back in November 2016, before being upstaged by Choi Soon-Sil
Well, ok, Koreans often have a flair for the dramatic. And Cho is no exception. Cho has said many times that it’s too scandalous, too explosive, too shocking and that it will even destabilize the country. Really? More than the Choi Soon-Sil gate which led to Park Geun-Hye’s impeachment?
Well, now that he is one of many witnesses testifying what he knows about Choi Soon-Sil. Perhaps we will find out what those “eight secrets” are. Rumors have it that Cho has knowledge of vote rigging and possible assassination attempts on a well-known politician. That’s just speculation. But explosive, yes.
Cho Han-Gyu (조한규) finally testifies today: what secrets will he reveal?