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Huh Found to Have Obtained Government Permit without Project Rights

Huh Found to Have Obtained Government Permit without Project Rights

Posted April. 20, 2005 23:17,   


The Korean National Railroad Administration (now the Korea National Railroad Co.) was revealed in its previous attempts to have bulldozed through the North Korean Yeseong River sand extraction project with Russia’s Sakhalin oil project regardless of the availability of the project.

At the time, the National Railroad Administration pursued the sand collection project following the advice of Huh Mun-seok (71), CEO of Korea Crude Oil (KCO), who contributed greatly to bringing the National Railroad administration to the Sakhalin oil investment, though the project had already been assigned to another company.

The National Railroad Administration pursued the project without confirming this fact, and this year the Ministry of Unification was found to have issued a permit for the sand transfer project to Huh, who did not hold the rights to pursue the project.

Song Ki-hak, CEO of Korinf International Co., a trade company with business ties to North Korea, met the Dong-A Ilbo on April 20 and stated, “In July 2003, we were issued the Yesung River and Imjin River sand and gravel collection and sales rights to be conducted jointly with the North Korean Joseon External Economics Cooperation Committee.”

Song added, “In late 2003, Huh expressed his interest in the project, so I handed him a copy of the contract.”

According to Song, in October 13 of last year, Huh proposed, “I will invest $2 million, in return for 51 percent of the company’s shares,” and drew up an agreement of secrecy and obtained investment details in return for depositing the amount by November 5 of that year. Song stated however that Huh did not deposit the money, nullifying the agreement.

As a result Huh’s H&K Energy Co. temporarily possessed the North Korean construction materials production rights from October 13 to November 5 of 2004. But the Korean National Railroad Administration was discovered to have reviewed the sand transfer project since late 2003.

In an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Huh stated, “Starting from the end of 2003, I discussed the North Korean sand transfer project with Wang Young-yong, director of the Project Development Unit at the Korea National Railroad Co.”

The Third Special Unit of the Seoul Central District Court (Director Hong Man Pyo), which is investigating the oil investment incident, confiscated and investigated evidence in four places, including the house of Deputy Minister of Construction and Transportation Kim Se-ho (then the head of the National Railroad Administration) and the Special Project Unit of the Project Development Center of the National Railroad Co., on April 20.