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“The Ministry Didn’t Make the Report”

Posted June. 19, 2007 03:40,   


It has been reported that the government conducted research to examine the feasibility of former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak’s cross-country canal project. It found out that the controversial report was not done by the Ministry of Construction and Transportation (MOCT), which typically makes these kinds of reports.

Construction and Transportation Minister Lee Yong-sup attended the National Assembly’s Construction and Transportation Committee on June 18 and said, “The feasibility report covered in the media is not what I received from the director of the Water Resources Policy Team. The publicized report has 37 pages, but my report has nine.”

Hong Hyeong-pyo, the director of the ministry’s Water Resources Policy Team, said, “I submitted my feasibility report to Cheong Wa Dae on May 9. My report and the released report are similar in contents but different in number of pages.”

Gwak Gyeol-ho, the president and CEO of Korea Water Resources Corporation (KWRC), added, “The disclosed report was not made by the task force which is in charge of assessing Mr. Lee’s canal project.”

The presidential office and MOCT have made the following claims: First, the president and MOFE minister were informed of the document before it was published by the media. Second, Cheong Wa Dae never ordered related government offices to make the feasibility report. Third, the report was done by the task force composed of the KWRC, the Korea Institute of Construction Technology (KICT), and the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS).

However, the government officials, including Minister Lee, confirmed that their report was not what the media has covered. Suspicions have been raised about the reason and the people behind the disclosed report.

Minister Lee said, “After I checked MOCT, KWRC, and Cheong Wa Dae for the report, I found out that the document was not done by the government. I think someone intentionally made this."

The Grand National Party (GNP) pointed to the presidential office. GNP lawmaker Kim Jae-gyeong said, “It is highly likely that Cheong Wa Dae altered the initial report from MOCT and released it to the media.

Rep. Kim Seok-jun of GNP claimed, “The disclosed report refers to the president as ‘VIP.’ But that expression is never used by the MOCT, KWRC, and KRIHS. Therefore, the report was made by Cheong Wa Dae.”

But Minister Lee disputed Rep. Kim’s claim, saying, “We have never received any instructions from Cheong Wa Dae. We never pretend to make such documents even though they are actually done by Cheong Wa Dae. Such bad practice is a thing of the past.”

Park Hyeong-joon, a co-spokesperson of former Mayor Lee, requested a parliamentary investigation. He urged, “It is highly possible that the presidential office fabricated and released the report or encouraged a third group to distort the original report as a political maneuver.”

The National Election Commission (NEC) is investigating the MOCT, KWRC, KICT, and KRIHS for the leakage of the cross-country canal project’s feasibility report.

One official of NEC said, “We have looked into the members of the task force from the MOCT and KWRC for the released report. Other organizations will be inquired. If we find out that the election law was breached during the process, we will ask for an investigation.”