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Grand National Party Spokesperson Suspected of Real Estate Speculation

Grand National Party Spokesperson Suspected of Real Estate Speculation

Posted June. 18, 2005 04:32,   


Jeon Yeo-ok, a spokesperson of the Grand National Party, is now embroiled in suspicions over real estate speculation.

Shindonga, a monthly magazine, reported in its July issue released on June 17 that she and her husband, Mr. Lee, made substantial profits by building a house on land before the land was purchased by the government. The house is built on farmland in an Agricultural Promotion Area (Former exclusive farmland) located in Daewha-dong, Ilsan-gu, Goyang-city Gyeonggi-do. The couple bought the land in May 1996.

They began building the house nine months after the Gyeonggi-do government announced planned sites for an entertainment and accommodation complex called Hallyuwood in January 2001. The land had sat idle for several years after the purchase.

Shindonga raises the speculation that she built the house intentionally right before the announcement because she knew that she would be entitled to more compensation with a house on the land.

She is reported to have received about 900 million won in compensation for the land in question. It means that she made 560 million won in profit in eight years on her investment totaling 340 million won, including construction costs.

She is also alleged not to have reported some of this property to the government when she ran for a seat in National Assembly. Furthermore, the couple did not report their planned farmland conversion to an administrative office. This is a mandatory procedure when one builds a house in Agricultural Promotion Areas where the use of land is strictly limited under the Agricultural Land Law.

She was found to have lived at this house for only one year and 10 months between the end of December in 2001 and the end of October 2003.

Moreover, they are alleged to have violated the “Property Real-Name Ownership Law” by dealing with the name of Mr. Yang instead of Mr. H, the de facto owner who is known to have a lot of properties in this area.

In reaction to the brewing suspicions raised by Shindonga, the couple explained that “we had no other motives than the simple hope for life in rural areas,” adding, “The reports on profits are overblown considering that profits were made for eight years.” For the alleged violation of the law, she explained, “I was not aware of the law at that time. If I had known it, I would not have done it”.

In-Jik Cho cij1999@donga.com