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Yang Did Not Report His Visit to President Roh

Posted August. 01, 2003 21:29,   


The office of the senior secretary to the president for civil affairs on Friday started its own re-investigation into a case in which the president’s personal secretary, Yang Kil-seung, received lavish treatment from a high-end bar owner.

Cheong Wa Dae is considering referring the case to an investigative institution, such as the prosecution, if its own investigation produces any evidence that the treatment was in return for any favors.

The presidential secretary’s office focused on three points in the investigation: How Mr. Yang came to be treated to drinks at a nightclub known only by the letter “K” in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province on June 28; who was there with him; and what happened while they were drinking there.

The office of the senior secretary for civil affairs plans to find out who kept track of Mr. Yang’s whereabouts, secretly filming him with a video camera, how the videotape was delivered to a local television network’s offices—Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)—and if there was any dishonest motive involved.

Along with this, the office is also trying to find out how the Hankook Ilbo reported the case in its June 31 edition.

Meeting with reporters, presidential chief of staff Moon Hee-sang hinted that Cheong Wa Dae would hand the case over to the prosecution.

Meanwhile, Mr. Yang was reported to have joined the drinking party because Oh Won-bae, vice-chief of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party’s North Chungcheong provincial chapter, persuaded Yang to go and drink several times, saying he would treat him.

"When Mr. Yang visited Cheongju, he did not report this fact to the presidential chief of staff in advance, nor did he inform President Roh Moo-hyun of his trip. Yang said that he was there in a private capacity," an official with Cheong Wa Dae said.

"The drinking expense was said to have been 450,000 won. We are now investigating how much money was charged and who paid it," the official added.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com