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400,000 Won, Not One Million Won

Posted March. 11, 2006 02:59,   


Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan is in even more trouble as it appears that he and others made a one million won bet during a round of golf last Wednesday.

The news is particularly a huge blow for Prime Minister Lee because Kang Byung-joong, former chairman of the Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is known to have provided 400,000 won. He has also been suspected of providing illegal political funds in the past.

There have been suspicions that the participants of the golf round gambled, but they have all denied such allegations.

Lee Ki-woo, vice minister of education and human resources development, repeatedly argued that they did not gamble during golf.

However, a source was quoted as saying to the media on condition of anonymity, “A caddie was holding about one million won, and they were betting 50,000 to 60,000 won on each hole. I don’t know who ultimately got the money, but there was no money left in the end.”

With the media’s persistent reporting of the incident, participants said, “We did not bet one million won. It was 400,000 won, and the prime minister did not get the money in the end.”

Jung Soon-taek, former presidential secretary for education and culture acknowledged having gambled in a telephone interview, saying, “Chairman Kang paid 400,000 won. However, the prime minister gave all the money he earned to a worker at the golf course.”

Kang, Yoo Won-gi, head of Youngnam Flour Mills, and Jung sent a fax, in line with what Jung said.

“There were two caddies for Prime Minister Lee’s team, and one caddie on the following team. We selected an experienced and hard-working caddie for Prime Minister Lee’s team,” said a worker at the golf course.

“I heard that some of the participants’ manners were not that good during the rounds, and that the caddies had to teach them golf rules, for they were unaware of the rules,” he added.

In response to the rumor that the caddies, who were attending to Prime Minister Lee’s team, are not coming to work these days, he replied, “It’s not true. All 100 caddies are working.”

“Caddies never talk about the situations during golf or who played,” said Choi In-sup, president of the golf course.

Yong-Hwi Jo Dong-Bin Seok silent@donga.com mobidic@donga.com