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Lee derides accusation of being pro-North as a ‘novel’

Lee derides accusation of being pro-North as a ‘novel’

Posted February. 01, 2023 07:51,   

Updated February. 01, 2023 07:51


Democratic Party Chief Lee Jae-myung dismissed the prosecution’s accusation that former SSANGBANGWOOL (SBW) CEO Kim Seong-tae offered 3 million U.S. dollars when Lee went to North Korea in 2019 as the Governor of Gyeonggi Province by deriding it as the prosecution’s “new novel,” and said “[it would] not sell well” given the prosecution’s poor creativity.

A close aide to Rep. Lee also said in a telephone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo that the prosecution has failed to present convincing proof in previous investigations and that the prosecution’s groundless accusation will turn out to be “a total flop.” “Stories are that Kim planned to plea bargain with the prosecution before returning from Thailand,” Lee’s aide said.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Democratic Party’s committee for the fight against prosecutorial oppression dismissed the prosecution’s accusation that the former CEO of SBW paid travel expenses for Lee’s visit to North Korea as an “absurd and ground accusation” considering the circumstance at the time. “The inter-Korean relations were tightened back in the latter half of 2019. The governments of the Republic of Korea and the U.S. were unable to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. Would it be reasonable if a governor visited the North during such time?” he added.

Rep. Cho Eung-cheon, considered unfriendly to Lee, said in an interview with SBS Radio that objective circumstances do not match the prosecution’s argument. “It is awkward that North Korea welcomes a mere governor with a parade,” Rep. Cho said.

Seong-Ho Hwang hsh0330@donga.com