[EDITORIALS]Wonders never cease

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[EDITORIALS]Wonders never cease

The scandal involving Choi Gyu-seon, who manages an advertisement agency and is alleged to be close to President Kim's third son, Kim Hong-gul, gets more and more tangled. Putting aside Mr. Choi's frequent changes to his statements, it now appears that he threatened the Blue House before meeting the press Tuesday. There are also claims that a police official was present at a meeting he attended to discuss matters related to his appearance at the prosecutor's office. A scandal or a comedy?

Mr. Choi apparently told the Blue House that he would not remain silent if he was pressed by prosecutors. He made the call just before a close aide told a civic group that Mr. Choi had received 1 billion won ($750,000) in return for his role in selecting a sports lottery provider. It now appears that he mentioned some matters related to Kim Hong-up to the press in order to squeeze the Blue House into helping him. We are amazed to find that the Blue House is vulnerable, or is thought to be vulnerable, to threats by such a person.

We are also dumbfounded to hear broadcast reports that a senior superintendent was present at a meeting called Friday to discuss Mr. Choi's summons to the prosecutor's office. Although the superintendent denies the report, this is an unusual charge that should be checked into thoroughly. Mr. Choi said at the press meeting, "When I was investigated by the police on suspicions of having received a large rebate in return for inducing foreign investment, Hong-gul spoke to his father on my behalf. Consequently, I was released without any charges." If the police officer was present at the meeting in connection with his role in the previous investigation, the suspicions about outside intervention in Mr. Choi's case grow deeper. The prosecution should look again at the investigation that ended with no charges filed against Mr. Choi. It should also dig out the details of discussions at the meeting at which the police official allegedly took part.

Another story is circulating that the National Intelligence Service reported to the Blue House rumors about Kim Hong-gul and Mr. Choi but was reprimanded for its efforts. If the incident had not been forgotten after the president's son denied them, the shameful chain of scandals involving the three sons could have been avoided.

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