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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Monthly Joongang the unpublished article on Kim Un-yong

Pressian tells about the article on the former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Kim Un-yong (or was he a vice president, puwiwônjang?) which was to be published in the Monthly Joongang but was not as a result of pressure from "political power" (kwôllyôk) and "big capital" (kôdae chabon). Thirteen journalists from Monthly Joongang had released a statement where they revealed the fact but did not give details of who the "power" and the "big capital" were.
The article was going to tell about the secret negotiations between Kim, Blue House (the ROK presidential office) and Jacques Rogge of the IOC for the conditions of Kim's voluntary resignation (chajin sat'oe) from IOC in last May. As the conditions for Kim's resignation, Rogge and Blue House would have agreed to work for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, to keep taekwondo as an olympic event after the Beijing games, and to have a Korean among the IOC committee members. The "power" became aware of the article and sent someone to suggest that Monthly Joongang discard the article, but the magazine would have refused. But the request to scrap the article it could not refuse came from a "certain group".

According to Pressian it's quite clear that the "power" from which the first request came was the Blue House (president's office) and the "big capital" which sent the unrefusable request was Samsung. The Samsung head Lee Kun-hee is a member of the IOC, and Joongang used to be a part of the Samsung conglomerate.

This alone does not yet prove that Samsung is more powerful than the Blue House, but it shouldn't be no new that it should have more leverage over Joongang (who has its own man Hong Seok-hyeong, brother-in-law with Lee Kun-hee, as the US ambassador).

About Kim Un-yong I have hardly seen anything but negative. But at least his political survival skills have been admirable.

Update, June 22, 2005.

Media Today has more precise info about the dealings between ROK presidential office Jacques Rogge of the IOC and Kim Un-yong.
Last April Kim Chông-gil, the vice president of the Korean Olympic Committee (대한체육회) negotiated in Lausanne with Rogge about Kim. Rogge had agreed to keep taekwondo in the olympics and help Pyeongchang to get the 2014 winter olympics and keep a Korean among the IOC members. After that Kim U-sik, the head of the presidential secretariat negotiated with Kim Un-yong about his resignation, for which the condition was Kim un-yong's immediate release. (Didn't remember he was doing time.) The reason why Cheongwadae was involved was that Kim Un-yong wanted to return to the scene after his release, and was using the "Kim Un-yong files" to pressure the IOC. This becoming public would've of course hurt IOC a lot, so for Rogge and the Korean government the resignation of Kim was the best option. Kim Un-yong first strongly declined to resign and demanded immediate release, but gave up to Cheongwadae and Rogge, also due to his ailing health.

Here's a price quote from a Reuters piece from last May after Kim's resignation:
When [Kim Un-yong] was sentenced [in Korea] last June, his lawyer said his actions and business conduct were rooted in South Korea’s dictatorship period of the 1970s and 1980s and it was unfair to judge him by present-day values.
He really must have been in a right company with Samaranch, the old Falangist of Franco.

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Comments to note "Monthly Joongang the unpublished article on Kim Un-yong" (Comments to posts older than 14 days are moderated)

<Blogger Owen> said on 21.6.05 : 

I always thought that the colour of the Joongang Ilbo building was a bit of a giveaway as to its allegiances (have you noticed that the chaebol buildings are colour- or style-coded?). But I wasn't enough of a Samsungologist to know that Hong Seok-hyeong is brother-in-law to Lee Kun-hee. It's like the 18th century European monarchy.

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 21.6.05 : 

I have an older post (Upper-class affinal relations) of a survey done on the marital relations of the chaebol people. Lee's wife Hong Na-hûi is the ambassador Hong's older sister, so in Korean terms ambassador Hong is Lee's ch'ônam, and Lee is Hong's maehyông. (Man, I always need practice in these...) Another sister Hong Na-yông is on the other hand married to the second son of a former premier minister (kungmu ch'ongni) No Sin-yông (don't ask me when and under whom he may have served).

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