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[Editorial] Another Dirty Slush Fund Scandal?

Posted June. 27, 2003 21:45,   


Several burglars broke into the house of Kim Young-wan and got away with an uncountable amount of money. The Blue House reportedly covered up the robbery allegedly out of concern over exposure of the source of the money stolen. Kim was found to have done all the money laundering for former Culture and Tourism Minister Park Ji-won, a slush fund given to Park by the Hyundai Group. Now, we are wondering why the Blue House is covering up the crime. What was his role as to the secret money deal Kim Dae-jung cut with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il?

Park, prior to the North-South summit, traveled to Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing on four occasions to meet with North Korean delegates. The records show that the itinerary of Kim exactly matches that of Park. What was going on? It was Kim who "laundered" the 15 billion won for Park, but under these circumstances, we cannot accept this as purely a coincidence.

Kim is a money-laundering expert, so what is with the 15 billion in cash and CDs at his house? Why did the police hide the case from the public? Why did the Blue House get itself involved in the handling of a simple burglary case? The burglars were investigated, not at the police station, but at a hotel. Who has heard of a "hotel investigation" for a burglary case? And who paid all the expensive bills for conducting questioning at the hotel?

Another episode of the case raises suspicions. Kim, when robbed, did not report the case to the police. He called the Blue House security detail. What information did he want to keep from the regular police? Then, the Seoul Police Department issued a gag order for their own officers. Was there a reason for this?

Independent Counsel Song Doo-hwan got dismissed from his job in the middle of the investigation of the scandal. Song thought Kim was the "CFO" of former Minister Park, a figure who wielded the most power in the Kim Dae-jung administration. We need to get to the bottom of this dirty slush fund scandal as soon as possible. The ball is in the politicians’ court. They should authorize another independent counsel.