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Claim of the Blue House Is Not True

Posted April. 25, 2002 09:04,   


President of the Pacific Basin Institute (PBI) at Pomona College, Frank Gibney, denied on April 24 the claim of the Blue House that the third son of President Kim Dae-Jung, Hong-Gul, is still working at the institute by extending the working contract on December last year.

President Gibney, in a second interview with Dong-a Ilbo following yesterday`s interview, denied the explanation of the Blue House on our paper`s article (A1 page of April 24 edition), saying, "Hong-Gul does not work any more at PBI", and confirmed again, "Hong-Gul quit the institute in December last year, and the institute and Hong-Gul have no official relationship."

Additionally, he explained, "We helped him extend his visa in August last year as we thought we could retain him as a researcher if the budget of the institute is enough, but he quit the institute as our college stopped paying wages for lack of fund two months later from that time, in October."

President Gibney cut the question of whether Hong-Gul extended the contract with the institute in December last year, saying, "There was no extension of the contract," and added, "We do not know what kind of visa Mr. Hong-Gul now has."

Gibney also reacted to a claim of the Blue House that the administratively responsible person for dealing with working status of Hong-Gul is curator Pedro Loureiro and Mr. Gibney is not aware of the contract issue of Hong-Gul, saying, "Doctor Loureiro acts as vice president of the institute, and the claim of the Blue House is simply not true."

On this, the Blue House disclosed J1 visa extension documents of Hong-Gul family submitted to the consular division of the U.S. State Department by Pomona College, saying, "Mr. Hong-Gul had conducted research for one year as a PBI researcher beginning October 2000, and has entered the second year research phase beginning on October 23, 2001 and ending on October 22, 2002."

A related person of the Blue House quoted as saying, "We heard in a telephone conversation with PBI curator Loureiro that Hong-Gul could continue working as an unpaid researcher even though his waged researcher status expired on late December, 2001, and PBI president Frank Gibney also said that he would welcome if Hong-Gul return to project work."

In related story, director Gibney explained, "PBI has not received any financial support from the Korea Foundation (that is, the Korea International Exchange Foundation), but requested the financial support to be rebuffed in January."

Ki-Heung Han eligius@donga.com