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Murder instigation by Seoul council member

Posted July. 01, 2014 07:47,   


Seoul Metropolitan Council head Kim Myung-soo was arrested in October last year for allegations of receiving bribery from a demolition company for apartment reconstruction. In 2008, then council head Kim Gwi-hwan gave 34 million won (33,613 U.S. dollars) to 28 city council members only to be arrested later. The former was a member of main opposition Democratic United Party (now New Politics Alliance for Democracy) and the latter leading Grand National Party (now Saenuri Party). These two incidents reflect distorted image of the Seoul Metropolitan Council that makes ordinance of and sets up budget for Korea`s capital city.

Seoul City Council member Kim Hyung-sik was arrested by police for abetting a murder of a rich man in western Seoul in March this year. When Kim was urged to pay for debt that he borrowed 500 million won (494,315 dollars) from the man surnamed Song, he instigated a friend who owed money to him to commit murder of Song, according to police. While the city council is steadily criticized for many reasons, the latest case is truly shocking and is sending adverse effects to the society.

Kim Hyung-sik succeeded in being re-elected as council member at the June 4 regional elections on the back of nomination by the New Politics Alliance for Democracy. Now at age 44, he is a student activist turned politician who led the student body while in college. He was an aide for about 10 years for parliament member Shin Ki-nam who is four-term lawmaker of Politics Alliance for Democracy party and former speaker of the National Assembly. Kim was also the youngest deputy spokesman at the former Uri Party. He denied allegations when arrested, but police is confident to prove his murder instigation.

Kim Hyung-sik was member of urban planning management committee at Seoul Metropolitan Council. Rumor has it that the money he borrowed from Song was used for request of alteration of land use. It is also a question where Kim used the huge amount of money. The New Politics Alliance for Democracy that nominated him twice for party candidacy said that the issue is a personal thing and has nothing to do with the party. The incumbent council member who was nominated by the party has been arrested for murder instigation. If the New Politics Alliance for Democracy has offered no official apology, it does not deserve the name "New Politics."

Editorial Writer Kwon Soon-hwal (shkwon@donga.com)