Controversial land development project causes partisan turmoil

Controversial land development project causes partisan turmoil
Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung (Yonhap)The fallout from a controversial land development project authorized by Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung is expanding, threatening to bog down parties on both sides of the aisle.

The case came to light just weeks earlier after it was reported that Lee allegedly gave business favors to Hwacheon Daeyu Asset Management in 2015 to help the firm take part in a land development project in Seongnam’s Daejang-dong when he was mayor of the city.

Lee was accused of unlawfully aiding Hwacheon Daeyu with capital of 350 million won ($295,811) and gaining more than 400 billion won in dividends.

The region, located adjacent to a major startup cluster just south of Seoul, has been filled with high-rise apartment buildings and infrastructure during the course of the development project.

The allegation immediately prompted fierce criticism from the main opposition People Power Party, which accused Lee of abusing his power as mayor.

Lee has denied all the allegations against him, saying he has never earned any personal profit from the “fairly executed exemplary project.”

A prosecution investigation has been launched in relation to the allegations, not into Lee but into members of the People Power Party, which is accused of using false information to derail his presidential bid.

The controversy took an unexpected turn Sunday when it was reported that the 32-year-old son of Rep. Kwak Sang-do of the main opposition party received an unreasonably high sum as severance pay after working at Hwacheon Daeyu as a full-time employee for seven years.

He reportedly received 5 billion won in severance pay in March. Kwak’s son is said to have drawn monthly pay of about 3.8 million won when he left the company and would legally have been entitled to severance pay of about 26.6 million won.

The news immediately turned the tide in favor of the ruling bloc, as Kwak has been one of the most vocal critics of the Moon Jae-in administration and the ruling party. Kwak is one of the opposition bloc’s leading figures, having served as senior secretary for civil affairs under former President Park Geun-hye.

It was speculated that Kwak might have indirectly invested in Hwacheon Daeyu and received dividends as part of his son’s severance pay. Kwak and his son have denied all allegations against them flat out.

Kim Man-bae, the largest shareholder of Hwacheon Daeyu, said before appearing for police questioning Monday that the large sum paid to Kwak’s son also included compensation for an industrial accident that he experienced while working for the firm.

Kim did not go into detail, saying it was a private matter.

But Kwak nonetheless ended his People Power Party membership on concerns that the allegations could harm the party’s prospects ahead of next year’s presidential election.

People Power Party Chairman Lee Jun-seok went further Tuesday by asking Kwak to give up his National Assembly seat in face of the controversy, as his explanation for the severance pay was not enough to satisfy the public. The party leader warned of official procedures within the legislative branch to strip Kwak of his post.

Opposition figures have been saying Gov. Lee is the main figure in the scandal, calling for a special counsel investigation and a special parliamentary inquiry into his involvement. They have also argued that Kwak’s son is not the only one who has received a large amount of severance pay after working for Hwacheon Daeyu.

“The main body of the scandal is Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung,” said former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, a key presidential contender within the People Power Party, in a Facebook post Monday.

“Lee himself came before TV to say he was behind the development project, and evidence is out there. There’s no way he can hide from this.”

The Gyeonggi governor’s side denounced the main opposition party over Kwak’s departure from the party, hinting that the severance pay Kwak’s son received may have reflected a bribe for Kwak’s actions during his time with the Park administration.

Gov. Lee also called for the case to be handed over to the prosecution or to the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials. His campaign office filed a complaint with the prosecution Sunday, accusing Kwak of spreading false information.

Kwak has claimed that Gov. Lee is the de facto owner of Hwacheon Daeyu and designed the profit-sharing scheme for the 2015 development project. The lawmaker warned Monday that he would take legal action against Gov. Lee’s campaign team in response.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Incheon's Yeonsu-gu to host UNESCO's Learning Cities conference next week

Songdo Convensia (Yeonsu-gu, Incheon)Incheon’s Yeonsu-gu will host the fifth International Conference on Learning Cities, which kicks off next week with an aim to reinforce The international event will take place ... Read more »

KB Kookmin buys additional 30% stake in Cambodian microfinance unit

KB Kookmin Bank headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of KB Kookmin Bank Major South Korean lender KB Kookmin Bank said Wednesday it has acquired an additional 30 percent stake in ... Read more »

Court delays decision for SsangYong's new owner

SsangYong Motor Pyeongtaek plant in Gyeonggi Province / Yonhap Seoul Bankruptcy Court potstones decision to select preferred bidder of SsangYong Motor By Kim Hyun-bin The Seoul Bankruptcy Court has postponed ... Read more »

Amid US-China row, Tesla's growth benefits Korean suppliers

An aerial photo made with a drone shows empty employee parking lots at the Fiat Chrysler Belvidere assembly plant near Belvidere, Il., Oct. 18. EPA-Yonhap By Kim Yoo-chul Tesla’s continuing ... Read more »

Tailim Paper IPO draws controversy

Stacks of corrugated sheets of cardboard. Korea Times file By Lee Kyung-min Criticism is mounting against a planned bid for an initial public offering (IPO) by Tailim Paper, a delisted ... Read more »

[ANALYSIS] US bitcoin ETF debut will not boost crypto growth in Korea

A digital banner for the newly listed ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday in New York City. AFP-Yonhap ... Read more »

[FULL TEXT] Actor Kim Seon-ho belatedly admits to forced abortion rumor, apologizes

Actor Kim Seon-ho / SALT Entertainment By Park Ji-won Actor Kim Seon-ho, who shot to stardom in tvN’s romance series, “Start-Up,” followed by “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha,” indirectly admitted Wednesday that he ... Read more »

Memorial for Korean atomic bomb victims to be erected in Japan's Nagasaki

A conception of a memorial stone for Korean victims of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, provided by South Korean Consulate-General in Fukuoka. The monument is schedule to be ... Read more »

NK confirms test of submarine-launched ballistic missile

In this photo, released by North Korea`s Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday, shows a submarine-launched ballistic missile being fired in waters off the east coast the previous day. (KCNA-Yonhap)North ... Read more »

FM Chung says N. Korea sanctions relief can be an option if it accepts dialogue offer

Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong speaks during a parliamentary audit session held at the National Assembly on Wednesday. (Yonhap)North Korea’s recent missile test underscores the need for engaging the reclusive state ... Read more »

Regional universities experience student shortage

Pusan National University’s campus / Korea Times file By Bahk Eun-ji Lee Ju-young, who graduated from high school in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, in 2020, was admitted to Kangwon National University, ... Read more »

Yoon Seok-youl in hot water for defending ex-dictator

Presidential hopeful Yoon Seok-youl (Yonhap)Yoon Seok-youl, a leading presidential contender for the main opposition People Power Party, on Wednesday hastened to provide an explanation for his remarks that seemed to ... Read more »

SK develops world's fastest HBM3 DRAM

SK hynix’s new HBM3 DRAM / Courtesy of SK hynix By Yi Whan-woo SK hynix said Wednesday it has developed the world’s fastest DRAM chip _ the High Bandwidth Memory ... Read more »

Facebook plans to change name: report

In this Aug. 12 file illustration photo, the Facebook logo is seen on a smartphone in front of a computer screen in Los Angeles. AFP-Yonhap Social media giant Facebook is ... Read more »

New virus cases rise on more testing

Social distancing signs on precautions against the coronavirus are displayed at the entrance of the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2021 at the Seoul Military Airport in Seongnam, Oct. ... Read more »

Moon says S. Korea seeks strong defense capability to ensure peace

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)Ensuring peace is the reason for South Korea to build strong defense capabilities, President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday, as the country seeks to build a military based ... Read more »

N. Korean threat won't change even after end-of-war declaration: ex-USFK chief

Curtis Scaparrotti (L), former commander of the US Forces Korea, attends a breakfast meeting with security experts in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)North Korean security threats won’t change even if a ... Read more »

[Graphic News] Cancer remains leading cause of death in S. Korea

Cancer remained the top cause of death in South Korea, with the number of deaths hitting a record high last year, a government report showed. In 2020, 304,948 deaths were ... Read more »

USFK reports 32 additional COVID-19 cases

(Yonhap)Thirty-two people affiliated with the US Forces Korea (USFK) have tested positive for COVID-19, the US military’s infection tally showed Wednesday. Among the new cases counted from Oct. 9 to ... Read more »

Lawyer at center of corruption-laden development scandal released after 2-day probe

Nam Wook (C), a key figure in a sprawling land development scandal in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, is swarmed by reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Monday, after ... Read more »

Lee to appear at 2nd parliamentary audit amid snowballing corruption scandal

Gov. Lee Jae-myung of Gyeonggi Province attends a parliamentary audit at the provincial government’s office in Suwon on Monday. The placard reads “recipient of money = culprit, sharer of stolen ... Read more »

S. Korea receives UN investment promotion award

A medical worker splits up doses of coronavirus vaccine in a vial at a COVID-19 vaccination center. (Yonhap)South Korea’s trade investment promotion agency has received an award from a United ... Read more »

N. Korea confirms test-launch of new SLBM in state media report

This photo, released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday, shows a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) being fired in waters off the east coast the previous ... Read more »

N. Korean missile launch highlights need to engage in diplomacy: official

South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk speaks at a press conference after his bilateral and trilateral meetings with his American and Japanese counterparts in Washington on Tuesday. (Yonhap)WASHINGTON — ... Read more »

N. Korean missile launch underscores 'urgent' need for dialogue: White House

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki seen answering questions in a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on Tuesday in this image captured from the website of ... Read more »

PoliGround aims to offer public opinion through virtual stock market

By Jung Da-min Political-IT startup PoliGround CEO Seo Jung-ho / Courtesy of Seo Jung-ho Seo Jung-ho, 52, has long worked in the IT industry, engaged in information-offering services and software ... Read more »

Luxury hotels transformed into cultural venues

Paradise City presents the audiovisual media art exhibition, “INSCAPE ― Voyage to Hidden Landscape,” by Herman Kolgen, until Feb. 6. Courtesy of Paradise City By Jun Ji-hye Luxury hotels have ... Read more »

KakaoT, UT, Tada to battle for cab-hailing services market

Vehicles using the cab-hailing platform KakaoT are parked in a parking lot for a taxi management company in Seoul. Yonhap By Kim Bo-eun The market for cab-hailing services is set ... Read more »

US condemns N. Korean missile launch as threat to region: State Dept.

A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva. (Reuters) The US State Department on Tuesday condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch ... Read more »

Frozen potatoes vs turkey: Patriotic Chinese-made war epic tops global box office

A poster advertising “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” a film about Chinese soldiers fighting American troops during the Korean War, is displayed at a movie theater in Shanghai, China October ... Read more »

Korea's self-developed space rocket Nuri ready for launch

Korean space rocket Nuri is erected at a launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, June 1. Courtesy of Korea Aerospace Research Institute By Baek ... Read more »

N. Korea tests missile amid South's efforts to resume talks

North Korea tests a hypersonic missile on Sept. 28, 2021. (KCNA-Yonhap)North Korea test-fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile into the East Sea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff ... Read more »

Kim Seon-ho's agency responds to recent forced abortion accusation

Actor Kim Seon-ho is faced with the allegation that he forced his ex-girlfriend to get an abortion by falsely promising to marry her afterwards. Courtesy of tvN SALT Entertainment looking ... Read more »

Greenflation feared to loom over Korean economy amid carbon neutral transition

Smoke rises from the chimneys of plants at an industrial complex in this undated photo. Yonhap By Yi Whan-woo Surging energy prices and the government’s finalized plan to drastically cut ... Read more »

Skyrocketing oil prices

A signboard at a gas station in Seoul, Tuesday, shows the recent surge in gasoline prices. International oil prices peaked in recent weeks to their highest in seven years, prompting ... Read more »

Controversy rises over booster shot for Janssen vaccine

A man receives a Janssen coronavirus vaccine at a medical clinic in South Gyeongsang Province, June 10. Yonhap By Lee Hyo-jin Controversy is rising over the administration of booster shots ... Read more »

LG Chem advances into solar panel frame business

LG Chem-developed LUPOY EU5201-installed solar panels / Courtesy of LG Chem By Kim Hyun-bin LG Chem has become the country’s first company to develop plastic frames that could replace the ... Read more »

Tough road ahead for end-of-war declaration

President Moon Jae-in delivers a keynote speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 21.(Cheong Wa Dae)There will be no immediate breakthrough in the ongoing discussions toward ... Read more »

US nuclear envoy to visit Seoul this week to discuss ‘end-of-war' declaration

Sung Kim, US special representative for North Korea, speaks to reporters after the meeting with South Korea`s nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk in Washington on Monday. (Yonhap)Washington’s point man on North ... Read more »

Shinhan outruns rivals in resuming investor roadshows abroad

Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung, left, poses with Nigel Topping, the U.K.’s high-level champion for climate action, at the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), at Shinhan headquarters in ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic