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Finance Official Tied to Base Protests

Posted July. 13, 2006 03:00,   


A consultative lawyer of a civic group that campaigns against the expansion of the U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek was found to be a member of the Public Project Designation Committee of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs. This committee decides which organizations receive government subsidies. His role in selecting organizations belonging to the civic group created controversy.

According to the report released on July 12 by Lee Sang-bae of the opposition Grand National Party, Chun Nak-boong, a committee member, chose two organizations – The Solidarity for Practice of the South-North Joint Declaration and Women Making Peace – which belong to the civic group, and he was found to be a consultative lawyer of the group.

The two organizations participated in violent protests in May. Chun provides legal advice to people from the two organizations who were arrested with and without physical detention.

The two organizations applied for government subsidies as they claimed that they would carry out the project for “social unity and peace.” The committee evaluated applicants by sector in May and decided to give 100 million won (for three years) to The Solidarity for Practice of the South-North Joint Declaration and 20 million won to Women Making Peace.

In the evaluation process of the “social unity and peace” sector, Chun and another member participated. Chun gave The Solidarity for Practice of the South-North Joint Declaration the highest mark with 86 points and 85 points to Women Making Peace. Chun played a decisive role in choosing the two organizations. The average points needed to receive the subsidies was 74. The other member gave the two organizations 71 and 74 points respectively. Chun said, “I did not know that the two organizations participated in protests or belong to the civic group. I evaluated them objectively in terms of the reasons for applying for the subsidies.”

In the meantime, out of 15 of the committee members, 12 were recommended by civic groups, and six civic groups that recommended members received the subsidies.

The committee plans to provide 129 organizations with a total of 2.4 billion won this year.