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Controversy over Choi`s Mediation between Candidate Lee and Scalapino

Controversy over Choi`s Mediation between Candidate Lee and Scalapino

Posted May. 18, 2002 10:06,   


It was disclosed that CEO of Future City Environment Choi Kyu-Sun has mediated a meeting between presidential candidate of the Grand National Party (GNP) Lee Hoi-Chang and professor of the California State University at Berkley Robert Scalapino in June last year. This is causing a heated dispute between the ruling and opposition camps.

Especially, the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) raised a suspicion on the relationships between Choi and the GNP and urged an all-out investigation on the alleged provision of two hundred thousand US dollars to the GNP by Choi, which was exposed by Rep. Sul Hoon.

Mr. Choi`s defense lawyer Kang Ho-Sung publicly showed a letter of professor Scalapino, which had been faxed to the defense lawyer on May 14, and the professor stated in the letter, `Thanks to Mr. Choi, I could meet a number of leaders including President Kim Dae-Jung and former GNP president Lee in South Korea when I visited the country several times.`

GNP spokesperson Nam Kyung-Pil said on the issue related with the letter, `Choi called former director of the Yoido Research Institute Yoo Seung-Min in June last year and relayed professor Scalpino`s wish to meet former GNP president Lee who accepted the request when Yoo reported it,` but explained, `However, former party president Lee has already met several times professor Scalapino, and Choi did not play a special role.`

Additionally, spokesperson Nam added, `At that time, former director Yoo did not report about Choi to former president Lee, and Choi was not present at professor Scalapino`s meeting with former president Lee.`

But MDP chairman Han Hwa-Kap claimed in a supreme council meeting in the day, `The letter of professor Scalapino proves that candidate Lee Hoi-Chang had lied when he admitted meeting Choi once in a seminar on transfer of Yongsan camp of the US forces in Korea in January this year, ` and added, `It also proves that Rep. Sul Hoon had spoken true when he claimed Choi gave two hundred thousand US dollars to candidate Lee camp. `

Chairman Han said, `When a person says this kind of lie, he is disqualified as the president,` and urged, `The prosecution should investigate completely not only candidate Lee but also GNP representatives in regard to the claim of Rep. Sul Hoon.` Furthermore chairman Han said, `If the prosecution neglects its duty, the prosecution is not the country`s prosecution, but a subordinate agency of the GNP.` However, chairman Han cancelled in the afternoon of the day his remark about `a subordinate agency of the GNP` through the party`s spokesperson Jong Bum-Goo.

In-Soo Song Jeong-Hun Kim issong@donga.com jnghn@donga.com