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POSCO`s Turn-around Allegedly Comes from Outside Pressure

POSCO`s Turn-around Allegedly Comes from Outside Pressure

Posted May. 07, 2002 09:04,   


POSCO executive president for public relations Yoo Byung-Chang retracted, only after a day, his statement that POSCO chairman Yoo Sang-Boo met Kim Hong-Gul in July 2000 by a request of First Lady Lee Hee-Ho. The retraction of the statement raised suspicions of the circumstance, and the Grand National Party (GNP) immediately suggested an outside pressure.

Executive president Yoo held a press conference in the POSCO Center in Daechi-Dong, Kangnam-Gu, Seoul, on May 6, and explained, `I had a slip of tongue when I answered to journalists through telephone as I misunderstood the talks of chairman Yoo,` and added, `Neither First Lady Lee nor the Blue House is involved in a meeting between chairman Yoo and Hong-Gul.`

The explanation has overturned what executive president Yoo himself talked to press on May 5, `(The meeting between chairman Yoo and Hong-Gul) took place since First Lady Lee requested chairman Yoo to meet once Hong-Gul to advise on business matters.`

Even so, executive president Yoo admitted,` It is true that chairman Yoo has dined with Hong-Gul, at the behest of CEO of Future City Environment Choi Kyu-Sun, in Youngkwangwon, the POSCO guest house, in Seongbuk-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul.`

Vice president of POSCO Construction Co., Cho Yong-Kyung, who joined the dinner between chairman Yoo and Hong-Gul, said also in the press conference, `At that time, Hong-Gul once asked to visit a steel plant through Mr. Choi, but that could not be met since the weather was bad, however there was no request of First Lady Lee, but only Mr. Choi suggested for that occasion to have a dinner meeting instead, which has taken place subsequently.`

In relation to this, a high official of the Blue House remarked, `It`s possible Hong-Gul or Choi may have used the name of First Lady Lee for their own hidden agenda, but the first lady is not the kind of person to call.`

In that, GNP deputy spokesperson Bae Yong-Soo raised suspicion, `When executive president Yoo revised his comment only after a day, it is surely from an outside pressure,` and added, `Is it possible to relay to the press unclear information especially when the comment is related to the company`s chairman?`

He said also, `It is known that chairman Yoo has already stated in the prosecution that the first lady mediated the meeting,` and demanded, `The prosecution should disclose in detail what chairman Yoo has stated.`

In other hand, in the morning of the day, First Lady Lee departed to New York City, the U.S., to attend an UN children special general meeting on behalf of President Kim Dae-Jung.

Chi-Young Shin Jong-Hoon Lee higgledy@donga.com · taylor55@donga.com