|A soldier passes the entrance to the Defense Security Command (DSC) in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday. President Moon Jae-in issued an order during his state visit to India for an investigation into the DSC's plan to impose martial law to curb street protests last year. /Yonhap|
By Park Ji-won
The largest conservative Liberty Korea Party (LKP) stepped up criticism of President Moon Jae-in, Wednesday, concerning his latest order to investigate the Defense Security Command (DSC).
The military intelligence unit is under fire for planning an armed crackdown on peaceful rallies demanding the ouster of then-President Park Geun-hye last year by imposing a garrison decree followed by martial law.
While other political parties have supported the presidential order for a quick, independent investigation, the LKP alleged that Moon has political intention to "tame" the military using this case.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) welcomed Moon's decision while criticizing the opposition party asking them to answer whether they had known about the DSC's "wrongdoings" as the then-ruling party.
"(The main opposition party) should answer whether they already knew the details about the DSC's scenario of enacting a garrison decree or martial law, as the then ruling party," Rep. Park Wan-joo, a member of the DPK Supreme Council said Wednesday.
Baek Hye-ryun, a DPK spokeswoman, added Wednesday that "the investigation should be expanded to the past nine years of illegal political interventions mainly conducted by the DSC during the presidencies of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye."
The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party, the Party for Democracy and Peace (PDP), and the minor liberal Justice Party had differences on how to conduct the investigation but shared the view that the alleged wrongdoing was a serious crime which needed to be thoroughly investigated.
Rep. Park Jie-won of the PDP said on Faceboook that "a thorough investigation and severe punishment is the way to restore honor to the military, whose reputation has been tarnished."
Park also criticized the main opposition LKP, saying "This party keeps defending the DSC by insisting that it was just preparing for contingencies."
The LKP said President Moon and the ruling party were overreacting to the allegations.
"The allegations should be cleared. But I have to suspect that there was a political intention behind this," LKP floor leader Kim Sung-tae said.
Yoon Young-seok, an LKP spokesman, also defended the military saying the DSC document was an internal review with no intention of staging a coup d'etat through a garrison decree or martial law.
"There is a suspicion that the allegation is part of the government and ruling party plan to chase after corrupt forces. The investigation team should not define someone or groups as corrupt forces or have the intention to disarm a government unit."