A recording of a subordinate’s phone call was released immediately after the dismissal of investigation team leader Park Jeong-hoon.
Military: “I only made the call to stabilize the agitated investigative team members.”
▲ Marine Corps Commander Kim Gye-hwan (left) and former Marine Corps Investigation Command Director Park Jeong-hoon (right) On the day former Marine Corps Investigation Command Director Park Jung-hoon was dismissed, Marine Corps Commandant Kim Gye-hwan told former Director Park’s subordinate, “We did it truthfully, so there was nothing wrong.” Confirmed. Commander Kim is a key figure who knows the ins and outs of former Director Park’s case, and as it was revealed that Commander Kim recognized the purpose of agreeing to the contents of the Marine Corps Investigation Team’s investigation in the early stages of the incident, he is expected to have a significant impact on the direction of the future investigation.
On the 24th, the Military Human Rights Center disclosed the contents of a phone call between Commander Kim and the Marine Corps Central Investigation Team commander (Lieutenant Colonel), a subordinate of former Director Park, that lasted 4 minutes and 42 seconds from 9:48 p.m. on the 2nd of last month. This is the day that former Director Park was dismissed from his position after handing over to the Gyeongbuk Police Agency the results of the investigation into the death of Corporal Chae Soo-geun, who charged eight people, including 1st Division Director Lim Seong-geun, with manslaughter.
Commander Kim said in a phone call with the head of the Central Defense Command, “This is not an easy part. In my opinion, everything was done fairly and according to the principles, so let’s wait. There is nothing wrong with it because we did it truthfully anyway. “I guess it was because Jeonghoon was frustrated,” he said. This can be interpreted as Commander Kim trusting the investigative team’s investigation results and also supporting former Director Park’s transfer of the investigation results.
Commander: “Do you have phone records from the Ministry of National Defense?” check… Heavy water commander: “I felt the instructions were illegal”
Commander Kim said, “Isn’t there a phone call between Jeong Hoon and the Ministry of National Defense’s legal affairs officer? “You have all the records, right?” he repeatedly checked to see if there were any records of phone calls between former Director Park and the Ministry of National Defense.
Then the head of the Central Investigation Team said, “Yes, that’s right. “There is a record of it, and during that phone call, a legal manager called me and my supervisor in the middle of the meeting, so we all listened from the side,” he said. “We all felt that there was too much external pressure and illegal instructions being given.” In response, Commander Kim said, “In the end, I’m not saying that I (former Director Park) will take responsibility for that. “If you don’t do this, you will have no choice but to be accused of violating my instructions later,” he said.
It is presumed that other actors anticipated that former Director Park would be accused of violating instructions, and that the investigation team officials were aware that they were feeling external pressure from the Ministry of National Defense or higher-ups.
However, Commander Kim changed his position 180 degrees at the National Assembly National Defense Committee meeting on the 25th of last month, saying, “In the process of investigating the cause of the accident and carrying out follow-up procedures, there was even an incident of military discipline that violated the military’s strict command and command system.” He publicly criticized former Director Park.
When the transcript was released on this day, the Marine Corps stated, “The Marine Corps Commander made the phone call in an attempt to stabilize the members of the investigation team who were agitated after the former head of the investigation team was dismissed.”
Reporter Choi Jae-heon
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