Kin caught in political cross-fire

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Kin caught in political cross-fire

The opposition and ruling camps are conducting a campaign of "verbal terror," targeting even the family members of top government officials. The unusually vicious partisan fighting erupted after key figures in the Kim Dae-jung administration were implicated in a series of scandals.

The main opposition Grand National Party on Wednesday focused on the alleged involvement of the president's two sons in the Chin Seung-hyun scandal.

"The investigation is not focusing on how the 300 billion won ($230 million) in slush funds raised in the three financial scandals through stock price manipulation were used," Kim Ki-bae, secretary-general of the opposition party, said.

The opposition spokesman, Kwon Chul-hyun said, "Implication of the president's sons in the corruption scandals is rocking the nation." He demanded that Prosecutor General Shin Seung-nam resign from his post and the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation submit to a tax audit to "assure the public that the probe is being conducted fairly."

Mr. Kwon said whether or not Representative Kim Hong-il, the president's eldest son, received money from Kim Woo-choong, the founder of the Daewoo business group, should be disclosed before the legislator departs for the United States on Jan. 6 to receive medical treatment. Monthly Chosun magazine reported recently that the Daewoo founder bribed Mr. Kim in 1988.

The ruling Millennium Democratic Party lashed out at the opposition, calling the rumors "groundless."

A ruling party spokeswoman, Kim Hyun-mi, retaliated by sniping at the family of the main opposition leader, Lee Hoi-chang.

"Mr. Lee's two sons are suspected of dodging their military service," Ms. Kim said. "The younger brother also allegedly used the National Tax Service to raise political funds for his father during the 1997 presidential election."

She went on to say that Lee Hoi-chang's father is thought to have collaborated with the Japanese during the colonial period."

by Lee Sang-il

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