'War' on Corruption

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'War' on Corruption

After a series of recent scandals involving charges of bribery and corruption of public officials, the Kim Dae-jung administration announced Monday that it was declaring an all-out war on corruption.

Prime Minister Lee Han-dong met with the ministers of justice and government administration and two senior Blue House officials and discussed ways to root out corruption among government officials as well as among leading figures in the corporate sector.

The four officials, along with the chairmen of the Financial Supervisory Commission, the Fair Trade Commission and the Government Information Agency, will finalize details of the anti-corruption campaign on Tuesday.

President Kim said Monday while visiting the Inchon city government that it is undeniable that corruption exists in some sectors of the government and government-owned companies.

He added that he has been pursuing the anti-corruption drive as a "resolute imperative" and that the campaign will cover mid- to low-level officials as well as senior officials.

The Supreme Prosecutors Office, which is in charge of implementing the government's drive, said that it will focus on corruption at financially troubled companies as well as among high-level officials.

The prosecution has already been conducting investigations into some 400 companies that have been either ordered to liquidate or placed under court supervision. It has reportedly secured a significant amount of evidence into charges of corruption and tax evasion that implicate politicians, government officials and others.

The prosecution did not elaborate whether it would delve into such recent controversial scandals as the one involving the government's financial supervisors.

A senior prosecutor said that his agency has always committed itself to rooting out corruption and that this round of investigations is not the result of a request by the ruling party.

The national police will also join in the anti-corruption campaign.

by Kim Sok-hyon

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