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2018 Winter Olympics Go to South Korea

South Korea has shown its ability to organize major international sporting events over the past two decades. In addition to being the host of the 1988 Summer Olympics, South Korea was the co-host with Japan of the 2002 World Cup.

Yet, corruption involving high-ranking Olympic officials from South Korea has also brought embarrassment to the I.O.C. Kim Un-yong, a former I.O.C. vice president, resigned in 2005 after being convicted of embezzlement. Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung, an Olympic sponsor, relinquished his duties as an I.O.C. delegate in 2008 and was convicted of tax evasion; he was later pardoned and resumed his role with the I.O.C. last year.

Park, the head of South Korea’s Olympic Committee, was convicted of embezzlement but pardoned in 2007. Cho, the chairman of Pyeongchang’s bid committee and of Korean Air, was charged with tax evasion in 1999 and given a three-year prison term, but settled with the government for $12 million.

The news of Pyeongchang’s victory came near midnight in South Korea. In the resort, villagers danced and waved national and Olympic flags.

“This is a victory for the people of South Korea,” Lee, the country’s president, said from Durban.

Ethics Issues Don’t Deter S. Korea’s Olympic Bid

Last December, some in the Olympic world cringed when South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, pardoned Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung and a member of the I.O.C., for a conviction for tax evasion with the express wish that the pardon would aid Pyeongchang’s chances of Olympic success. Because Lee Kun-hee is an I.O.C. member and chairman of Samsung, a major sponsor of the Olympics, he has taken a limited role in promoting Pyeongchang, a Samsung spokesman said.

The other leaders with convictions in South Korea include Cho Yang-ho, the chairman of the bid committee and of Korean Air, who was charged with tax evasion in 1999 and received a three-year prison term, although he appealed and later settled with the government for $12 million. Park Yong-sung, the head of the Korean Olympic Committee and a former member of the I.O.C., was convicted of embezzlement but was later pardoned by the South Korean president. And Lee Kwang-jae, the senior vice chairman of the bid committee and governor of the province where Pyeongchang is located, was convicted of taking bribes, which he is appealing.

Three I.O.C. members and several Olympic observers said the South Korean officials’ personal pasts would have little effect on the bid’s chances. The vote is decided by the members of the I.O.C., a group of about 100 sports leaders, business executives and dignitaries from around the world.

Richard Pound, the I.O.C. member who led the investigation into the Salt Lake bid scandal, said some could argue that the South Koreans had been punished enough. “If you do something wrong,” he said, “and you’re convicted and there’s a sentence, and after you’ve served your sentence, you’re entitled to be welcomed back into society.”

Millions of dollars and a piano may put Korean in UN's top job

By Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor and James Bone
SOUTH KOREA has pledged millions of dollars in aid and offered other incentives to members of the United
Nations Security Council to secure its candidate as the next UN secretary-general.
An investigation by The Times has disclosed that the South Koreans have been waging an aggressive campaign
on behalf of Ban Ki Moon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the front-runner to replace Kofi Annan
as UN chief at the end of the year. The inducements range from tens of millions of pounds of extra funding for
African countries to lucrative trade agreements in Europe ? and even the gift of a grand piano to Peru.

Mr Ban’s prospects received a dent last night when he slipped back in a new secret ballot by the UN Security
Council. While Mr Ban remained the clear front-runner, he received support from only 13 of the 15 council
members ? one fewer than in the previous ballot. One council member voted against him and another abstained.

Seoul tries to buy top UN job

Richard Beeston and James Bone
September 29, 2006
SOUTH KOREA has pledged millions of dollars in aid and offered other incentives to members of the United
Nations Security Council to secure its candidate as the next UN secretary-general.

An investigation by The Times of London has disclosed that the South Koreans have been waging an aggressive
campaign on behalf of Ban Ki Moon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the front-runner to replace
Kofi Annan as UN chief at the end of the year.

The inducements range from tens of millions of pounds of extra funding for African countries to lucrative trade
agreements in Europe ? and even the gift of a grand piano to Peru.

Mr Ban’s prospects received a dent last night when he slipped back in a new secret ballot by the UN Security
Council. While Mr Ban remained the clear front-runner, he received support from only 13 of the 15 council
members one fewer than in the previous ballot. One council member voted against him and another abstained.

A further ballot will be held on Monday, with coloured cards to show if the negative vote comes from a
veto- bearing permanent member. Britain and France both appear to harbour hopes that new candidates
will still emerge.

Corruption through political contribtuions in South Korea

Ex-officer indicted on bribery charge

A former Gwinnett County Police Department investigator was indicted Thursday on a charge he accepted bribes from a massage parlor that was a front for prostitution.
Chris In(仁) faces one felony count of bribery, which could land him in jail for up to 20 years if convicted.
In(仁) could have faced several bribery charges because a spa owner gave him cash and golf clubs on multiple occasions in exchange for being tipped off about police raids, authorities said.
Police were stumped about why, on several occasions, spa owners seemed to know they were coming.
Then one spa owner complained about >a Korean officer who was taking bribes.
A short time later, Internal Affairs investigators with Gwinnett police busted one of their own.
We are the ones that arrested Officer Chris In(仁).

Two military contractors pleaded guilty

Monday to conflict of interest charges for trying to hire the Army’s former head of contracting in South Korea, who was later sacked for bribing Korean companies.
Young Y. Lee, 46, of Rockville, Maryland, and Lorn J. MacUmber, 67, of Gypsum, Colo.,
face a possible sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for pleading guilty to one count each of aiding and abetting a conflict of interest.
Lee was president and CEO of Information Systems Support Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md.,
and MacUmber was a senior vice president of the company that worked on information technology for the military, including at installations in South Korea.
In December 2000, Lee met Col. Richard J. Moran in Seoul. At the time, Moran had oversight of roughly 17,000 contracts in Korea worth about $310 million.
The two initially discussed ISS’s business in Korea, but later spoke of the possibility that Moran would join ISS after he retired.

the Oil-for-Food scandal

Although Rich testified in writing in March, 2005, to a House committee investigating the U.N. program that he was not in any way active in the Oil-for-Food program,
documents suggest that he bought Iraqi oil in 2001 from various front companies, which BusinessWeek has identified. This took place just one month after his pardon.
If so, it seems that Rich may have misled Congress. The CIA, the Senate, and others have concluded that from September, 2000, until September, 2002, buyers in the Oil-for-Food oil program had
to pay illegal surcharges that Saddam used in part to buy weapons, though no documents show Rich made such payments. Some investigators believe Iraqi insurgents are now using that money.

One company from which Rich bought crude during this period was a front for extremist Russian and Ukrainian organizations. All were pro-Saddam;
one was a staunch supporter of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. Another company was tied to a major money launderer for Saddam.

Texas businessman indicted in U.N. oil-for-food probe

Friday, April 15, 2005

David Chalmers, owner of the Houston-based company Bayoil Inc., which participated in the U.N. program, was arrested in the Texas city Thursday and made an initial appearance in federal court. Chalmers and two associates are accused of paying millions to the regime of Saddam Hussein to secure oil deals, thereby diverting money from the U.N. humanitarian aid program.

U.S. Attorney David Kelley also announced an indictment against Korean businessman Tongsun Park, who allegedly worked as a lobbyist and tried to influence U.N. officials while disguising his relationship with the Iraqi regime. Park is believed to be at large in South Korea.

Chalmers faces three felony charges in an indictment unveiled by Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office is overseeing the federal criminal probe. Charged with the businessman were two of his oil traders -- John Irving of Britain, who lives in London, and Ludmil Dionissiev of Bulgaria, who lives in Houston as a permanent legal alien.

Irving and Dionissiev dealt with Baghdad and the foreign oil companies in pursuing deals with surcharges, according to the indictment.

An arrest warrant will be sought for Irving in the United Kingdom.

Chalmers and Dionissiev were each expected to post $500,000 bail -- including $150,000 in cash -- and appear in New York for their arraignment Monday.

The South Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, is accused of acting as an unregistered lobbyist for Iraq starting in the early 1990s and being paid $2 million by the Hussein regime.

Park is believed to be at large in South Korea. In the 1970s, Park was a lobbyist for the Korean government and a central figure in an influence-peddling scandal involving dozens of members of U.S. Congress.

Kelley said Chalmers and his associates "paid inflated commissions" to brokers "knowing and intending a portion of these commission payments were earmarked for the kickback to the Hussein regime."

"By doing this, the defendants were essentially diverting funds that otherwise would have been deposited to the oil-for-food escrow account from which humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people was to be paid," he said.

Bayoil, an oil refiner, distributes and trades petroleum-related products. It is one of a handful of U.S. oil companies that together accounted for less than 1 percent of the $64 billion in Iraqi oil sales during the seven-year humanitarian program.

Bayoil purchased nearly 6 million barrels of Iraqi oil in 1997, shortly after the program was launched, according to records from the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

Subsequently, according to the indictment, Bayoil paid "millions of dollars in secret illegal surcharges to the government of Iraq" for additional purchases of oil in 2000 and 2001.

Chalmers and Bayoil allegedly schemed to buy some 40 million barrels of oil allocated to other companies beginning in 2000, the same year Baghdad started imposing surcharges.

In addition to the price of oil, negotiations allegedly resulted in Bayoil wiring $1.3 million to a Swiss bank account controlled by the foreign oil company, which in turn wired the money through a Manhattan bank to an Iraqi-controlled front company in the United Arab Emirates.

In late 2001, the defendants allegedly paid another $839,000 surcharge for another 2 million barrels of Iraqi oil allocated to another company and then another $451,000 surcharge for another million barrels allocated to another company.

Kelley said the U.S. government intended to force Bayoil to forfeit at least $100 million in assets, which he called a "conservative estimate" of the total business the company conducted with Iraq.

The percentage of that sum paid in surcharges was not immediately disclosed.

However, a CIA-backed Iraq Survey Group report by former U.N. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer found that surcharges on the U.N.-approved oil exports averaged about 25 cents to 30 cents a barrel.

Prosecutors estimated that Bayoil made at least $1 million in profits from its alleged offenses and are seeking twice that -- a maximum fine of $2 million - from the company.

Well, if the replacement light bulb's being shipped to Uday Hussein's Iraqi Olympic Committee recreational basement
as part of the UN Oil-for-Food programme, there's no telling how many Annans you'll need.
You'll recall that Kofi Annan's son Kojo - who had a $30,000-a-year job but managed to find a spare quarter-million dollars sitting around to invest in a Swiss football club
the investigators have now broadened their sights to include Kofi's brother Kobina Annan, the Ghanaian ambassador to Morocco, who has ties to a businessman behind several of the entities involved in the scandal - one Michael Wilson,
the son of the former Ghanaian ambassador to Switzerland and a childhood friend of young Kojo. Mr Wilson is currently being investigated for suspected bribery over
a $50 million contract to renovate the Geneva offices of the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation.
Despite the current investigations into his brother, his son, his son's best friend, his former chief of staff, his procurement officer and the executive director of the UN's biggest ever programme,
the Secretary-General insists he remains committed to staying on and tackling the important work of "reforming" the UN. Unfortunately,
his Executive Co-Ordinator for United Nations Reform has also had to resign.
Officially, Maurice Strong, Under-Secretary-General, godfather of the Kyoto treaty and chief UN negotiator on North Korea,
resigned because he'd put his step-daughter on the payroll - she's also quit - and because of his ties to Tongsun Park, a Korean businessman charged by the US Attorney's office with taking millions of dollars from Saddam to act as an unregistered foreign agent for Iraq.
Mr Park allegedly invested a million of those Saddamite greenbacks in a business of Under-Secretary-General Strong's son - a now bankrupt Canadian petroleum company.

Stained by corruption

By Tony Parkinson September 9, 2005
Vincent has described under oath his role as a broker and middleman between Saddam's regime and "high-ranking UN officials" in back-channel negotiations leading up to the oil-for-food deal in May 1996.
According to the report, Vincent, working in concert with a South Korean lobbyist, Tongsun Park (known to the Iraqis as simply "the Korean")
had been promised several million dollars by the regime if they could negotiate a favourable deal for Iraq. The two commuted regularly between Baghdad and New York.

SKorean man arrested in US in connection with UN oil-for-food scandal

NEW YORK (AFX) - FBI agents have arrested a South Korean man in connection with
the UN oil-for-food scandal, US authorities said.
Tongsun Park, a South Korean citizen, is charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud,
acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government and laundering cash payments
from the Iraq regime, the US attorney's office in New York and the FBI said in a statement

Article On Secret IOC Deal With Kim Deleted Say Reporters

Posted 1:12 pm ET (GamesBids.com)
Reporters from the magazine Monthly JoonAng claim that an article they wrote about International Olympic Committee (IOC)
President Jacques Rogge reaching a closed-door agreement to release imprisoned former IOC vice president Kim Un-yong was deleted.

According to the two Rogge promised to help appoint a South Korean for the same
position to maintain Taekwondo as an Olympic sport and to hold the 2014 Winter
Games in PyeongChang, Kangwon Province.






Corrupt professors common, students say

April 28, 2005 ? Following yesterday's allegation that a professor at Seoul National University
misappropriated research grant funds, a number of graduate assistants across Korea have come
forward with similar charges about professors.
A 39-year-old engineering professor at Seoul National University is being investigated for
forging a credit card receipt for laboratory equipment he never purchased. He was reimbursed
by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, one of a number of government agencies
and private companies that funded his research. He was also accused of keeping graduate
assistants' stipends. His misappropriations allegedly totaled 100 million won ($100,000).
According to students who called the JoongAng Ilbo, such research grant fraud is common
among professors.
A graduate student at Seoul National University's College of Engineering said that over
the past three years,
he has received only half of the money he was supposed to have been paid for his research projects,
with the rest going into his professor's pockets. "Student bank accounts became dummy
accounts for professors," the student said.
Many students say they decided not to become whistleblowers for fear of jeopardizing
their academic futures.
One Korea University graduate student noted that professors at well-known universities wield
a significant amount of influence in their respective fields, and said to accuse such professors
could endanger students' careers.
Some also said that punishments levied on professors who have committed misappropriations
are too lenient.
For instance, a Korea University professor who embezzled more than 300 million won last year
was only fined 20 million won, and was not punished by the school.
Seoul National University held a press conference yesterday to announce that it will conduct
an internal investigation into the fraud case, and will hand down "severe punishment" if
the fraud is proven.

South Koreans Ponder Just How Far Corruption Reaches

By Barbara Demick
Times Staff Writer
January 27, 2004
SEOUL ・The money used to arrive in apple crates.
Now, it comes by the truckload. The only thing that has changed in South Korea, cynics say, is the size of the container.

As prosecutors dig into the financing of the last presidential election, they're unearthing some unseemly secrets. In the months before the December 2002 contest won by Roh Moo Hyun, about $50 million in illegal contributions changed hands as South Korea's largest corporations tried to curry favor with the political parties. More than a dozen people ・assemblymen, party hacks and moguls ・have been arrested so far.

Because South Korean currency comes in such small denominations that it is a logistical feat to make a payoff of any consequence, the scandals have taken on a quality of high farce.

When LG Corp., one of the country's largest conglomerates, allegedly gave $12 million to conservative opposition candidate Lee Hoi Chang, a truck stuffed with cash was reportedly left at a highway rest stop and the keys given to one of the politician's aides. Hyundai Group allegedly delivered its money using a sedan packed so tightly with cash it could barely be driven.

The spectacle has left voters clucking their tongues in indignation. But it also has prompted some serious soul-searching among the South Korean public about the role that under-the-table payments play in almost every aspect of life, be it academia or health care.

It used to be common in South Korea for parents to give gifts to their children's teachers to secure front-row classroom seats ・dating from a time when most people were too poor to buy eyeglasses for near-sighted children ・ or for businessmen to prepare envelopes of cash for journalists before being interviewed.

Some of these practices have died out as South Korea has become a more affluent and democratic society, but people here believe that their country still has a long way to go. Transparency International, the worldwide corruption monitoring organization, lists South Korea as one of the countries ・along with Russia, China and Italy ・where bribes are most likely to be paid in a business transaction.

"There has always been a lot of cash-giving and gift-giving in this society," said Michael Breen, author of the book "The Koreans." "People always seem to need staggeringly large sums of money to get things done. Everybody gets caught up in it."

Inspired by the political scandals, the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo has been running a series in which ordinary people confess their own acts of corruption.

In one article, a Seoul building inspector describes how his department takes 10% of construction costs in return for licenses, while a father confides that he and his wife bribed a college soccer coach to get their son onto a team. A school headmaster admits paying bribes to get a promotion.

"If we want to have a corruption-free society, we need to face up to the fact that it is not just in politics. It has spread into many fields," said Kim Jong Ho, associate editor of Munhwa Ilbo.

Grass-Roots Efforts

Several civic groups have sprung up with the aim of rooting out corruption. One is trying to abolish the May 15 holiday of Teachers' Appreciation Day ・which some believe can be an occasion for inappropriate gift-giving. Another erected a scale model of the national legislature in downtown Seoul and threw buckets of water on it in a symbolic cleansing of the political system.

There are so many corruption investigations underway right now that the front pages of the newspapers are dominated by photographs of the accused cringing in embarrassment.

The South Korean vice president of the International Olympic Committee, Kim Un Yong, is under investigation regarding allegations that he accepted bribes from businessmen who wanted seats on the committee and that he passed bribes to North Korean officials in return for their participation in sporting events in the South.

This month, IBM Korea executives were charged with bribing local government officials and purchasing agents to buy its equipment.

But the biggest investigations concern the cozy relationships between politicians and big business that date back to the 1970s, when South Korea's authoritarian rulers pushed for rapid development of the country.

Part of the problem is the clash between the old mores and the ethical standards expected in a modern democracy. New campaign-finance laws put strict limits on what politicians can raise and spend, but by tradition they need huge amounts of cash.

People who attend campaign rallies or distribute leaflets expect to be paid, while incumbents must also fork out generous cash gifts to well-connected constituents at weddings and funerals if they are to retain their support.

"I'm ashamed to admit it, but in the rural parts of this country some people are selling their votes. As a politician, you have to have a lot of money. There is no way to operate within the legal limits and stay in office," said Oh Se Hyun, a 43-year-old assemblyman who announced recently that he was so disgusted with Korean politics, he would not seek a second term. "South Korean politics still has a long way to go."

To meet their voracious need for cash, politicians have traditionally turned to South Korea's largest conglomerates, the chaebol. Under the law, corporations are not supposed to give more than $200,000 to political parties, but they are usually asked to cough up much more. That requires that the corporations maintain off-the-books slush funds so that they have a source of cash when needed.

And the people who handle so much money in cash are easily tempted to pocket some for themselves ・creating a cycle of corruption that permeates society.

In the current round of investigations, it appears that the lion's share of the money ・about $40 million ・went to the conservative Grand National Party, which has traditionally been favored by big business. But President Roh, a maverick labor lawyer who cultivated a squeaky-clean image during the campaign, is also in trouble.

One of the president's closest aides was caught on videotape in July carousing with a nightclub operator who was under investigation for soliciting the murder of a rival. In another incident, Roh is alleged to have been in the room when a resort company executive handed an aide a shopping bag with $25,000 in illegal contributions.

Last month, the National Assembly overrode a presidential veto to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate corruption in the presidential staff.

Voters Getting Soured

The corruption scandals swirling around Roh and his aides are souring voters who remember how his campaign distributed colorful plastic piggy banks for donations in order to show its disdain for big business. In a burst of bravado, Roh declared that he would resign as president if the prosecutors found that his camp took more than one-tenth as many illegal contributions as the opposition. Roh's allies now say he was speaking rhetorically.

"Roh is being hoisted on his own petard because he projected an ideal that he cannot live up to," said Scott Snyder, Seoul representative for the nonprofit Asia Foundation.

If the citizenry is disgusted by the allegations, it can take some solace in the fact that so much dirty laundry is being aired in public. Prosecutors say they expect South Korean politics will never be the same after they have finished their investigations.

"Times have really changed. The public is really desiring change. We prosecutors are free from government pressure," said Ahn Dae Hee, the chief prosecutor of the criminal investigation division. "I don't think that in the future South Korea will have the same problems with corruption."

But the cynics note that other South Korean leaders, from Chun Doo Hwan to Roh Tae Woo, launched their administrations with drives to root out corruption. Both Chun and Roh ended up going to prison, while the sons of their successors ・Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung ・landed in trouble over alleged political corruption.

Mo Jo Ryong, a political scientist at Yonsei University, says he is skeptical about the current investigation because it has uncovered relatively little money given by the big conglomerates to Roh Moo Hyun's camp.

"It's like peeling back the layers of the onion," Mo said. "They keep on getting closer, but they never get to the heart of the problem."