Rival parties clashed fiercely at parliamentary inspections of government agencies on Friday over the top office claim that the previous government fabricated the timeline regarding briefings to former President Park Geun-hye on the sinking of Sewol ferry.
The showdown was more pronounced at the inspection of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
Backing the presidential office, ruling Democratic Party lawmaker Park Wan-joo said an investigation must be launched to look into whether the oceans ministry was involved in covering up the former government’s incompetence after the ferry’s sinking.
Minister Kim Young-choon pointed out that nothing has come to light on whether the ministry concealed information, but if ministry officials acted inappropriately or illegally at the time, they must be investigated and punished.
The conservative bloc resisted strongly, claiming the presidential office's announcement was politically motivated. Liberty Korea Party Rep. Lee Yang-soo alleged that Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok's briefing on the matter Thursday was based on his personal suspicions.
Kim Jong-hoe, a lawmaker from the centrist People’s Party, said there are claims that the oceans ministry delayed salvaging the ferry on purpose to cover up the truth. The lawmaker also said it’s absurd to have to pay additional expenses to the salvage operator. Minister Kim, however, said there was no such intention.