Let the fun begin!
According to reports, Park Ji-won, disgraced former presidential chief of staff, was aware of the tapes six years ago, and Chun Yong-taek, former National Intelligence Service (NIS) chief and defense minister, had a backdoor deal with Kong Un-yong, former head of the agency’s special wiretapping team, codenamed ``Mirim,’’ to cover up his own corruption scandal.
The tape reportedly contains a secret discussion between Hong, then president of the Samsung Group-affiliated daily, the JoongAng Ilbo, and Lee Hak-soo, vice chairman of Samsung’s corporate restructuring office.
Park, however, said he did not give a copy of the tape to the former minister, Park. He said he received the tape from Kong and another former NIS agent, who was fired by the agency with Kong, to help get them reinstated.
They allegedly intended to take advantage of the situation. The former minister had uneasy relations with the vernacular daily which continued to criticize Park’s qualifications as a Cabinet minister.
Another suspicion was raised by a local daily that the tape actually contained Hong’s remarks stating that former President Kim Dae-jung promised to help Samsung take over Kia Motors in return for slush funds, but it was omitted on the agency’s written report of the tape.
Hong allegedly said Kim’s party would help Samsung take over Kia if it announces its merger and acquisition plan, the Hankyoreh Shinmun reported. Kia was then struggling with financial difficulties and was later merged with Hyundai Motors.
In addition, former agents also claimed Kim Hyun-chul, the second son of former President Kim Young-sam, was behind thousands of eavesdropping cases during his father’s administration in the 1990s, reports said.
Gotta love Korean politics!