CYBER COUP CALLED OUT BY SOUTH KOREAN LAWMAKER
DP lawmaker says Pres. Park should step down after ‘cyber coup’
Opposition party distancing itself from lawmaker’s remarks, which they say are her personal position
By Song Ho-jin, staff reporter
Jang Ha-na, a young first-term proportional representative Democratic Party lawmaker, caused a stir on Dec. 8 when she declared that last December’s presidential election was rigged as a result of the interference of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Cyber Warfare Command and called on President Park Geun-hye to step down and make way for a special presidential election during the regional elections in June of next year.
“It has been confirmed that the National Intelligence Service systematically posted 22 million messages using 2,270 Twitter accounts to help Park Geun-hye be elected president,” Jang said in a personal statement. “The only option remaining for Park, who came to office through a completely rigged and unfair election, is to apologize to the Korean people and resign immediately.”
“Park Geun-hye’s father became president through a coup that relied on guns and tanks. The only thing different in this election is that it was a cyber coup carried out by the National Intelligence Service and the army’s Cyber Warfare Command,” Jang said.
“Calling on Park and the Saenuri Party to reveal the truth and to take stern measures against those responsible is a waste of time. By holding a special presidential election at the same time as the regional election on June 4th, we can resolve all of the conflict in an efficient and economic manner,” Jang said, urging Park to make a decision.
While the Democratic Party has criticized the 2012 presidential election as having been illegal and unjust, this is the first time that a party lawmaker has openly called for the president to step down and for another presidential election to be held.
The ruling party immediately issued a heated response. “In short, I feel like we’re watching an absurd soap opera,” said Yoon Sang-hyun, deputy floor leader of the Saenuri Party (NFP). “These remarks are an insult to Korean voters and an affront to the president.”
“These were very regrettable and unfortunate remarks,” said Prime Minister Chung Hong-won in a full meeting of the Special Committee on Budget & Accounts.
DP spokesperson Park Yong-jin released a statement aimed at calming the situation. Park said that Jang had made the comments in a personal capacity. He expressed regret that Jang had made an official expression of her personal position that clashed with her party’s position.