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[Editorial] Contribution of Appreciation; For What?

Posted July. 10, 2002 22:39,   


“Oh, Jesus!” was the spontaneous, simultaneous response of us looking at the press release by the Central Investigation Unit of the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office (SPPO) upon indicting the second of the president, Kim Hong-Up. We felt devastated. That was allegedly a political contribution. Kim reportedly has received from companies such as Sansung and Hyundai 220 billion won (approximately $2 billion) for 2 years starting right after his father’s inauguration. Kim was not and is not a politician. Nonetheless, he has received huge amount of money, which proves that he abused the Asia Pacific Peace Foundation as a channel for collecting bribes.

The first time he began to receive bribe was in 1998 when the whole Korea was staggering from the economic crisis, numerous companies were filing bankruptcy and the increasing number of unemployed people was packing the street as homeless. The general public pulled out their golden wedding rings and everything made of gold to pay back the national debts. At this right moment, Kim, son of the president, got huge amount of kickbacks from entrepreneurs. And he stacked most of the money in the “sanctuary” under his house’s terrace. In order to cover it up, he stocked the furniture in front of it. The reason: simply to evade paying taxes. Isn’t it the behavior expected of a president’s son? It’s a shame for the whole country!

Kim also received 25 million won from the former director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Lim Dong-Won and 10 million won from the current director Shin Gun. The money was in the name of “contribution out of appreciation.” The two directors allege that the money was out of their own pockets, not from the safe of the NIS. Nobody, however, seems to buy their story. Even if the money had been out of their pockets, we still do not understand why they, heads of an intelligence agency, gave the money to the president’s son as token of appreciation.

Lim and Shin have to offer an excuse that is persuasive enough to make the public understood. If they fail to meet this requirement, the SPPO should investigate them and get the bottom of it. Otherwise, it would be impossible to severe the chain of wicked realities that people around the president or, more broadly, people of power can manipulate constitutional and/or national organizations to their personal profits. We don’t need a lip service; we need the bottom of it.