The high level of secrecy about President Park Geun-hye’s whereabouts during the infamous “seven missing hours” on the day of Sewol ferry disaster in April 2014 was due to worry over possible threats by North Korea, her legal team said on Tuesday.
This is the second time this month that the impeached President’s legal representation has linked her fall with North Korea. The first came last week, when one of Park’s attorneys accused “followers of Juche ideology” of being behind the protests against her.
“The Blue House is the residence and working place for the President… and is an important national monument where enemy attacks are expected,” a document, presented to Constitutional Court by Park’s team, said during the President’s third impeachment hearing.
“North Korea has previously attempted to conduct an armed invasion of Blue House,” it read, referring to the Blue House raid of 1968, when 31 North Korean soldiers unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Park Chung-hee – the former President and Park’s father.
The attorneys added that “North Korea [has] continued to comment about ‘striking Blue House’ to threaten (Park).”
The President’s whereabouts are a state secret, and no country or government would reveal them, the document read.
But they said that widespread rumors about the President’s missing seven hours have made it necessary to explain them to the court, to “prevent the people from being dazzled and agitated by the rumors.”
Resulting in the death of over three hundred people, mostly young students, the Sewol Ferry Disaster caused fury among the South Korean public, and the families of the deceased have continuously demanded to know what President Park did during her missing hours.
Over 1000 days since the day of the disaster, no full explanation has been given to the public.
The attempt to link North Korea to Park’s disappearance prompted criticism from South Korea’s opposition.
“The inside of Blue House is already revealed to the public… and should not be classified as a security facility,” Kim Hong-gul, the youngest son of the late President Kim Dae-jung and a Minjoo Party politician, said.
Featured Image: South Korean government, edited by NK News