[EDITORIALS]Whiners, incidents, cash

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[EDITORIALS]Whiners, incidents, cash

There is something unsatisfactory about the behavior and explanations of Kang Geum-won, chairman of Changshin Textile Co. and a supporter of President Roh Moo-hyun during the 2002 presidential election campaign. The scope and given reasons for Mr. Kang’s monetary transactions with Seon Bong-sul, Mr. Roh’s former chauffeur and later the CEO of Jangsucheon, a bottled water company, are beyond the scope of comprehension.
Mr. Kang also changed his statement about the amount of money he gave to Mr. Seon after he appeared at the prosecution’s office. Before appearing at the prosecution, Mr. Kang stated that he had given a little over 150 million won ($130,000) to Mr. Seon. But later he told the prosecutors that he had lent Mr. Seon 950 million won, 450 million won of which he later got back. Even for a wealthy man like Mr. Kang, whose spending might be bigger than the average person’s, it is incomprehensible how he could mistake a little over 150 million won for 950 million won. It gives rise to suspicion that Mr. Kang had first tried to downplay the amount because there was something about the transaction he could not reveal. And how could a man be so bold as to lend the Millennium Democratic Party two billion won during the presidential campaign, only to ask for the money back with interest in less than a week?
The reason Mr. Kang gave for his loan is also incomplete. He said he gave the money to Mr. Seon because he was afraid that Mr. Seon would “cause an incident” when left alone and “whining.” What whining? What incident?
Mr. Kang has publicly boasted that he is the “discipline master” of the president’s aides. Despite all the commotion that Mr. Kang has caused, the president and his wife recently played golf with Mr. and Mrs. Kang. Some wonder whether Mr. Kang, who seems to have the power to do with the president, his aides and the National Assembly members as he pleases, is really the power behind the throne. The prosecution should provide answers to such questions and doubts that all of us can understand.
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