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NIS Is Not Source of Election Funds Used in 1996 Election – GNP Chairman Choe

NIS Is Not Source of Election Funds Used in 1996 Election – GNP Chairman Choe

Posted September. 29, 2003 23:06,   


Touching on a suspicion regarding illegal budget diversion by the Agency of National Security Planning (the present the National Intelligence Service), Chairman of the Grand National Party Choe Byung-yul insisted Monday, ˝It is not true that the then ruling party diverted 20 percent of the agency`s budget to finance the 1996 presidential election as judges made a ruling. The money used for the election should have come from another source.

˝I`m not in a position to give a satisfactory answer to the question in regard to what happened in 1995 and 1996. However, one thing is clear here. That is the allegation related to the GNP is different from what judges made rulings at that time,˝ he replied to reporters at a forum when asked what the party`s official position on the issue is.

The GNP chairman, however, declined to answer the source of the money in question. Political showdown over the money is likely to intensify further given that it was the first time for the GNP to unveil the money in question came from another unknown source, not from the agency.

On the other hand, he acknowledged that the GNP is not free from the scandal by saying that it would offer a sincere apology to the public when all truths behind the scandal are fully unveiled. With regard to the issue of sending Korean combat troops to Iraq, the chairman clearly said that his party would clarify its position on the issue when the president Roh requests a parliamentary motion bill calling for the approval of a troop dispatch.

He added, however, that a UN resolution would be a decisive factor in the troop dispatch issue. He also said that the GNP should be reborn as a new political entity to discard its past image, which a majority of Koreans believe is the synonym with corruption, incompetence, and vested interests. He said in such a way when asked what the main reason is for the stagnant popularity rating of the party.

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com