INSIDE JoongAng Daily

I was asked why I am not commenting more on the slowly heating up presidential race here and the main reason is that I have no specific expertise (meaning none, really) in Korean domestic politics. As an observer I feel more confident holding forth on dried octopus, let us say.

But the scandals are interesting, if not bizarre and hideously complicated. For instance, here is the main story in the JoongAnd Daily, a snarl of controversy if there ever was one. (The Blue House is the Korean White House)


INSIDE JoongAng Daily: "The spreading scandal of disgraced art curator Shin Jeong-ah’s illicit love affair with a former chief policy secretary to the president is about to cost more Blue House jobs. Jun Hae-chul, the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, offered to resign from his post yesterday, citing his failure to uncover the compromising affair, but he kept his job for now, Blue House officials said. The trouble turns on the allegation that Byeon Yang-kyoon, the former chief national policy secretary who resigned this week after prosecutors uncovered the romance, was Shin’s protector. Shin, an art curator, lost her professorship at Dongguk University in July after it was revealed that she had forged her academic credentials.
The Blue House and President Roh Moo-hyun had earlier defended Byeon when his name first surfaced in connection with Shin. Chagrined, Roh admitted his embarrassment on Tuesday, after prosecutors found evidence of Byeon’s extramarital affair with Shin.
A prosecution source said yesterday that a wallet containing Byeon’s ID card was found during an earlier raid on Shin’s residence, offering further proof of the affair."

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