Park Jie-won, Kim Dae-jung's former chief of staff, is resting comfortably in a South Korean prison after a detention warrant was issued for him in connection with a bribery scandal that has tarnished the reputation of former president Kim and called into question the June 2000 North-South summit that won him the Nobel Prize. The independent counsel, which is investigating Hyundai's $500 million payoff to the North right before the June 2000 meeting, accuse Park of requesting, and later accepting, a 15 billion won ($12.7 million dollar) bribe from Hyundai officials in order to facilitate the company's projects in North Korea's scenic Kumgang Mountains. Park, acting through a third party (a former arms dealer, of all people), allegedly told Chung Mong-hun, president of Hyundai Asan, that the money was to be used in preparation for the North-South summit, according to a report in the Joongang Ilbo (which I'll generously remove from the Marmot's shit-list). Where the money went has yet to be determined, although there's plenty of speculation; some believe that the money went into a special slush fund for Park and other politicians (Chun Doo Hwan would have been proud), while others suggest that the money was given as gifts to North Korean officials before the summit. It should be pointed out that Park denies all of this, and claims that Lee Ik-chi, former president of Hyundai Securities and the figure who is alleged to have delivered the money to Park, must have taken the money himself. Park is separately charged with helping Hyundai Merchant Marine in getting 400 billion won ($3.4 billion) in loans from Korea Development Bank. Park is accused of asking Lee Ki-ho, then- President Kim’s senior secretary for economic affairs [and currently Park's fellow sin-bin resident], to lean on the bank to approve the loans.
Something is most definitely rotten in the state of Korea.