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Minister’s Paper Fuels Plagiarism Row

Posted July. 31, 2006 03:04,   


It was discovered on July 30 that Kim Byong-joon, deputy prime minister and minister of education and human resources development, received 105 million won worth of research project from the Seongbuk-gu administration office while he was a professor at Kookmin University, and the former district mayor Jin Young-ho received a doctorate on a thesis based on this research project. Kim was the academic advisor of Jin.

Between March and August of 2001, Kim received administration research project from the district and executed this project with two other professor colleagues.

Under the counsel of Kim, Jin wrote an administration research paper and received a doctorate from Kookmin University in February of 2002.

Jin cited the theses data sources as “Seongbuk’s Administration Services Research,” but wrote October instead of July of 2001 for the date. Kim’s team surveyed 1,008 residents and 200 neighborhood officials by mail or personal interview for 20 days starting July 16, and submitted the report in September to the Seongbuk district.

Jin used almost the exact same survey questions and research statistical charts or modified them to write out the thesis. After he received his doctorate in 2002, he was appointed a professor at Kookmin University.

Kim appropriated the budget for the “BK (Brain Korea) 21” business report to be submitted to the Korea Research Foundation at 60 million won for “research and analysis purposes” and 45 million won for the surveys. But on the foundation website, the research funds were shown as 47 million won and raised suspicions.

Jin responded, “The academic advisor was M, and I don’t remember since it was a long time ago.” However, on his thesis, Kim was written down as the academic advisor.

Kim adamantly refused to resign, saying through a “Revealing the Truth” document on July 30, “I’ve requested a hearing and I will sincerely cooperate with the Assembly.”

In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com