Choi Sun Sil Incident: Unprecedented, Yet Unfinished National Headline
Choi Sun Sil Incident: Unprecedented, Yet Unfinished National Headline
  • Reporter Gwak Jun-ho
  • 승인 2016.11.09 19:32
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Choi Soon-sil Incident has been the hottest topic in Korea since last August, and still, it is indisputably rising up with no limit as an unprecedented national crisis. How has Choi Soon-sil, a normal ‘Gangnam madam,’ got herself involved in national event of this scale? While new political scandals are revealed day by day, The Postech Times has closely followed the events to provide a summary of what has happened so far.
Who is Choi Soon-sil?
Choi Soon-sil is the 5th daughter of Choi Tae Min, who was in close relationship with former President of Korea, Park Jung Hee, President Park Geun-hye’s father. President Park and Choi have maintained friendship since then. During the 1970’s and 80’s, they ran Saemaeul Campaigns and Yook-young Foundation. Chung Yoon-hoi, the ex-husband of Choi, was the presidential secretary of President Park Jung Hee in 1988 and he was the central figure of ‘Chung Wa Dae unofficial authority figure incident’ in November 2014. During interpellation on Sep. 20 2016, Cho Ung-cheon, a member of the National Assembly, announced that “promotion of Woo Byung-woo secretary to Senior Secretary of Civil Affairs may have been deliberately done by Choi Soon-sil,” meaning that Choi had been influencing on personnel matters of Chung Wa Dae. Currently, she is suspected as the mastermind of Mi-r and K-Sports Foundation Fund Raising Scandals.
Woo Byung-woo Scandal
On Mar. 25 2016, the prosecutor, Jin Kyung-joon, a vice-ministerial official declared 15.6 billion KRW on public official personal assets revelation, with 12.6 billion KRW gained through selling unlisted shares of NEXON Corporation. Questioning how a man with such dirty hands had become a vice-ministerial official led to suspecting Woo Byung-woo, Cheong Wa Dae Senior Secretary for Civil Affairs, who was in charge of personnel verification. It turned out that Jin Kyuong-joon worked as a bridge between NEXON and Woo Byung-woo so that Woo Byung-woo could sell his troublesome landed estate at 125.6 billion KRW. In favor of this, Woo Byung-woo kept his eyes shut to Jin Kyung-joon’s crime. Woo Byung-woo was pressed by the public to resign, but Cheong Wa Dae resisted with silence to maintain his position until now. In addition, while Woo Byung-woo was a secretary to the Senior Secretary for Civil Affairs, he deliberately pronounced Chung Yoon-hoi’s illegal intervention into government administration as ‘government documents leakage incident’ and bought President Park’s patronage for promotion into Senior Secretary.
Mi-r and K-Sports Foundation Fund Raising Scandals
First revealed on Jul. 26 by TV Chosun and later growing into a huge issue through a number of revelations by Hankyoreh on Sep. 20, Mi-r and K-Sports Foundation Fund Raising Scandals have lists of suspicions. Firstly, during fund raising where Mi-r and K-Sports Foundation received 48.6 and 28.8 billion KRW each from Federation of Korean Industries, Ahn Jong-beom, Senior Secretary of Policy Adjustments, was suspected for intervening. Their foundation proceedings are highly similar and they both took just a day to get establishment approvals from a ministry that normally took 27 days on average. Chung Dong-chun, the owner of avsports massage club Ms. Choi frequently visited, was appointed as the second chairman of K-Sports Foundation, and both foundations are located ten-minute’s walk away from Choi and President Park’s houses.