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Chairman Moon Chung-in Hints at Resignation

Posted May. 27, 2005 03:37,   


Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Tae-whan said on May 26, “Government related sectors, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, held an emergency meeting” over allegations regarding the Haengdam Island Development Project.

According to a report released on the day, Mr. Kim claimed, “it has been confirmed that on March 8, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a document from Joseph Sin Kam Choi, chairman of the Econ International Group, that urged the Korean government to take measures regarding the bond issuance made by Haengdam Island Development Co., and further discussed its details with related government authorities.” He added, “17 days after receiving the document seeking support on bond issuance in the amount of 83 million dollars, the funds (by Korea Post and the Korea Teachers’ Mutual Fund) were paid on account.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted the comment, saying, “While it is true that the Econ International Group sent its message through the Singapore Embassy in Seoul, such regular formalities pose no problem.”

Meanwhile, Moon Chung-in, chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, has expressed his intention to resign to Presidential Chief of Staff Kim Woo-sik, amid accusations that he abused his authority when granting a “Letter of Intent” hinting at the government’s support in the issuance of overseas bonds by Haengdam Island Development Co., said Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Man-soo.

Spokesman Kim said, “Cheong Wa Dae will decide whether or not to accept the resignation only after the inspection results by the Board of Audit and Inspection are released.”

Mr. Moon, according to the files he distributed just moments after expressing his intent to resign, asserted, “the ‘S’ project is not a political nor an illegal venture, much less a by-product of a power scandal. It is a national obligation that cannot be surrendered to any hardship it may face.”

The Board of Audit and Inspection continued its second day of investigation on Haengdam Island Development President Kim Jae-bok at the Korea Highway Corporation, located in Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do.

Yong-Gwan Jung Jung-Eun Lee yongari@donga.com lightee@donga.com