Go to contents

Hyundai Chairwoman Will Accept North-South Cooperation Fund Investigation

Hyundai Chairwoman Will Accept North-South Cooperation Fund Investigation

Posted October. 03, 2005 03:15,   


Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun expressed her willingness to accept an investigation, either from the Board of Audit and Inspection, or from the prosecution, regarding Hyundai Asan vice-chairman Kim Yoon-kyu’s alleged misappropriation of South-North cooperation funds.

She believes this will make Hyundai Group’s business with North Korea more transparent.

While the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) called for thorough investigation into Kim’s alleged misappropriation of the funds, civic groups decided to accuse Kim of the charges in this scandal. The Ministry of Unification has also begun its investigation.

According to an announcement made by the Hyundai Group yesterday, after the Hyundai Group’s internal reports on Kim’s corruption were released recently by Dong-A Ilbo, Chairwoman Hyun ordered the group’s executives to release any details, including information about South-North cooperation funds, if they are asked.

Chairwoman Hyun also said, “The operation of cooperative businesses between South and North Korea, which is likely to facilitate public enterprises such as reconciliation and cooperation between the two Koreas, must be based on a high degree of transparency and morality.”

Meanwhile, the GNP insisted through a statement issued under the name of Rep. Hwang Jin-ha, the second policy mediation commission chair, “This incident may be just one of many corruption cases related to cooperative business with North Korea,” adding, “Through thorough investigation, the government must redeem misappropriated taxes and reprimand those who are responsible for this.”

The GNP also said, “It is absurd for the Ministry of Unification to deny its responsibility,” adding, “The ministry, which has indirectly supported business in order to preclude any suspicion of its special treatment toward Hyundai, is denying the charges just by saying, ‘The ministry has never directly raised the South-North cooperation funds for Hyundai Asan.’ This is neglect of its duty.”

The Ministry of Unification, however, said on the same day, “We have already received the explanation on the group’s investigation over Kim’s corruption from the Hyundai Group’s inspection team, and we already asked Hyundai yesterday to submit materials of its inspection and other related materials.”

Kim Kyu-Cheol, president of the South-North Korea Forum, a civic group working for cooperative business between South and North Korea, said, “We should take action because South-North cooperation funds that were raised by taxing the nation was misappropriated as an individual’s slush fund,” adding, “Relevant civic groups will have a meeting during this week in which we decide detailed procedures for the accusation of Vice Chairman Kim.”

Joong-Hyun Park Myoung-Gun Lee sanjuck@donga.com gun43@donga.com