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National Information Service’s Truth Finding Committee Announces Investigation Results

National Information Service’s Truth Finding Committee Announces Investigation Results

Posted July. 23, 2005 03:11,   


An investigation showed that the Buil Scholarship Foundation donation in 1962 was pushed through in an attempt by Park Jung-hee, then senior-most national leader and chairman of the “Top Council on National Rebuilding,” to control the media. The investigation also showed that the donation was forced by the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA).

There was another revelation that the forced disposal of Kyunghyang Newspaper in 1965 was done by the order of Kim Hyung-wook, then head of the KCIA, and that inappropriate pressure was executed during the process, and that the comprehensive conclusion is that it was pursued and executed by the order of President Park Jung-hee.

The “Committee on Development Through Truth Finding of Past Incidents” (the Truth Finding Committee, headed by Oh Choong-il) of the National Information Service (NIS) announced the investigation results mentioned above on the Buil Scholarship Foundation donation and Kyunghyang Newspaper disposal suspicions Friday at the NIS headquarters in Naegok-dong, Seoul.

The Truth Finding Committee said it probed into the two incidents through looking at over 900 files and interviews with 46 related individuals.

Buil Scholarship Foundation Donation–

The Truth Finding Committee said of the Buil Donation incident, “A Mr. Park who was the head of the KCIA Busan District Office at the time claimed that he received an order from Chairman Park Jung-hee. Prior to the chairman’s order, Park of the KCIA Busan wrote positively of Kim Ji-tae (the late head of Samhwa Rubber and owner of the scholarship foundation) in a Busan District Office stock taking report. Against this background, it is justified to think that chairman Park issued an order.”

According to the Truth Finding Committee investigation, on April 20, 1962, the KCIA Busan District Office arrested Kim Ji-tae on charges of violating the anti illicit wealth accumulation law. On May 25, while under arrest, Kim submitted a memorandum to Shin Jik-soo, then legal adviser to the Top Council, relinquishing his rights to the Buil Scholarship Foundation. On June 20, Kim signed and sealed a donation approval document written by the Minister of Justice Go Won-jeung.

The Truth Finding Committee said, “The KCIA Busan Office abused the right to punish, by launching an overreaching investigation against Kim Ji-tae under the pretext of eradicating illegally accumulated wealth. Also, the Top Council on National Rebuilding and KCIA headquarters are suspected to have influenced Kim into donating his property during the investigation.”

Of particular interest was the revelation that came with the examination results from the National Institute of Scientific Investigation on seven documents, including the donation approval document written while Kim was under arrest. The donation approval document was signed by Kim and two others. Furthermore, the date of the donation approval document, written in Chinese characters, was revealed to have been forged from June 20 (六月 二十日) to 30 (三十日) with an additional stroke. This indicates that the date was fabricated to make it look like Kim signed the paper after he was released.

Kyunghyang Newspaper Disposal –

The Truth Finding Committee said, “When Kyunghyang Newspaper continued publishing articles critical of the government in 1964, its president Lee Jun-ku was arrested following 10 other related individuals. When the newspaper did not change its tone even after Lee was released, KCIA head Kim Hyung-wook got down with the forced disposal under President Park Jung-hee’s order to ‘Get Lee Jun-ku’s hands off Kyunghyang Newspaper.’”

A Mr. Gil, then vice director of KCIA who was in charge of Lee’s arrest and investigation, was found to have threatened Lee’s wife Hong Yeon-soo, saying, “Will you come to your senses when Lee Jun-ku is executed? I will kill him.”

Kyunghyang Newspaper was put on the auction block in January 1966 and was knocked down to the only bidder Kim Chul-ho, then Kia head, who was from President Park’s hometown. In the process, several departments of the KCIA, including the Anti-Communist Activities Division, Seoul Office and the Inspector’s Office intervened in the disposal under orders from Kim Hyung-wook by competitively pressuring the Lees, the Truth Finding Committee explained.

After Kim Chul-ho was given the stock in April 1966, he handed over the management rights to then lawmaker Park Chan-hyun, member of Korea’s first National Assembly, who had headed Pusanilbo in the 1950s, and 50 percent of the stock to President Park, as demanded by the president. In 1969, Kim conveyed all remaining stock to Shinjin Motors.

Hyung-June Park taewon_ha@donga.com lovesong@donga.com