Defense minister vows stern measures against intelligence unit’s wrongdoings

SEOUL, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo assured the public Tuesday that an envisioned team of military prosecutors will look independently into alleged wrongdoings by the Defense Security Command (DSC), an influential unit tasked with collecting security-related intelligence and investigating anti-state activities.

The DSC reportedly considered ways to invoke a set of draconian decrees to control domestic security conditions last year, when then President Park Geun-hye was impeached.

Lawmakers voted to impeach her, bowing to weeks of massive protests highlighted by candlelight vigils, and the Constitutional Court upheld the National Assembly's decision.

The DSC is accused of having mapped out plans to curb street rallies expected to intensify in case the impeachment was rejected by the court.

The measures under consideration included the enactment of a garrison decree and a martial law to mobilize troops to maintain "social order."

It was also found to have inspected the families of people who died in the Sewol ferry sinking in 2014. Authorities' handling of the disaster caused public uproar at the time.

Related internal documents were leaked recently, containing details that were shocking to South Koreans proud of the rapid democratization and peaceful power transitions in their country. Their non-violent candlelight vigils against the Park government were internationally recognized.

Amid growing criticism of the DSC, President Moon Jae-in ordered a full probe into the allegations by an independent team of investigators.

He instructed the military to form a task force composed of military prosecutors with no Army or DSC background.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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