We, 156 students and alumni of Stanford University, feel deep sorrow as we see the Republic of Korea’s state of affairs. We stand here today in solidarity with Korean citizens taking to the streets to protect democracy and uphold the 1987 Constitution of the Sixth Republic, which rests on the spirit of March First Independence Movement and April Nineteenth Revolution in 1960.
The illegal acts that have trampled on the Republic of Korea’s Constitution and values include but are not limited to the following.
First: Secret confidantes of President Park Geun-hye, with no security clearance, meddled in state affairs. They not only had access to presidential speeches and classified documents, but also appointed public officials.
Second: Political and economic interests colluded. The Blue House actively helped such unelected individuals extort funding from the Federation of Korean Industries.
Third: Park’s friends materially benefitted from the sordid relationship. They utilized information available to the government for their private gains.
Fourth: Such individuals brought the integrity of academia to its knees with admission fraud. It is hard to fathom even the magnitude of this scandal in its totality.
The hidden powers committed the colossal crime of illegally meddling in state affairs. This has uprooted the principle of popular sovereignty in modern democracy. Park’s political scandal has deeply undermined the legitimacy and transparency of governance. The rampant corruption has questioned whether fairness and righteousness can be found in Korea. The rule of man, instead of the rule of law, has turned back the clock of history from democracy to monarchy.
Addressing such state of affairs, we, 156 Stanford students and alumni, declare as follows:
- We call for an independent special prosecutor to thoroughly investigate the truth and leave no stone unturned.
- We urge President Park, Choi Soon-sil, other unofficial meddlers, public servants, government agencies and businessmen implicated in the scandal to take full legal, political and social responsibility.
- We demand the diagnosis of the fundamental cause of this national crisis and the establishment of laws and policies to prevent its recurrence.
Die luft der freiheit weht – the wind of freedom blows. This is Stanford University’s unofficial motto. We stand here today, in solidarity with Korean citizens, yearning for the wind of freedom to protect democracy in the Republic of Korea.
– 156 Stanford University undergraduates, graduates and alumni
Contact Jeongeun Park at jeongeun ‘at’ stanford.edu.