National Assembly Probe To Be Heated, Range Wide

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National Assembly Probe To Be Heated, Range Wide

The National Assembly will launch a probe into 402 government agencies, state-run firms and local governments Monday. Analysts predicted a series of heated committee hearings, as the probe follows closely on the heels of the collapse of the governing coalition of the Millennium Democratic Party and the United Liberal Democrats. The probe is to continue until Sept. 29.

The major issues at hand are the government's inspection of the tax records of media companies, President Kim Dae-jung's engagement policy toward North Korea and the possibility of another financial crisis.

The National Defense Committee of the National Assembly will conduct a probe into the Defense Security Command, the intelligence arm of the military, for the first time since 1993.

The Intelligence Committee will look into the portion of the National Intelligence Service budget that is used by the police for the first time. The committee will also call Hwang Jang-yop, a former senior official in the North Korean government, to testify on his proposed visit to the United States, which has been blocked thus far by the South Korean government.

The Legislation and Judiciary Committee will call Father Kim Jong-soo, a priest who led the delegation to the North for a unification festival as a witness in the ongoing investigation into the controversial activities of the delegation in Pyongyang.

The Culture and Tourism Committee will question Chung Mong-hun, chairman of Hyundai Asan Corp., about alleged favoritism by the government in relation to the company's tourism project in Mount Kumgang, while the Construction and Transportation Committee delves into the irregularities surrounding development projects near Incheon International Airport.

by Lee Soo-ho

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