*This wasn’t posted before, so I just posted it
The recent political scandal involving Choi Soon-sil, President Park Geun-hye, and countless others has outraged the people. When trying to understand the beginning of such crisis, one must first examine the generation that came before. President Park Jung-hee, the father of the current president, had an intimate relationship with Choi Tae-min, the father of Choi Soon-sil. When President Park Jung-hee was assassinated in 1979 after his long dictatorial rule, Choi Tae-min consequently assumed guardianship of President Park Geun-hye. After living multiple decades together as a family, President Park and Choi Soon-sil developed a special type of bonding. This bonding between the president and Choi Soon-sil led the two to tamper with all of the facets of Korean society for personal gains and profit. The two intervened in the political, economic, cultural, and educational divisions of Korean society.
The Core Actors and the Beginning
Choi Soon-sil is established many companies to gain and store personal profit in other nations for safekeeping. She founded The Blue-K, Widec, Mir Foundation, and K-Sports.
Ko Young-tae is the company president of The Blue-K. He released Choi’s tablet PC, which contained information about the political scandal and released more information about Choi’s intervention in political policies. No Seung-il, the department head of the same company, has been supporting Ko Young-tae’s claims that Choi is guilty.
However, Jung Dong-chun, the company chairman of K-Sports, supports Choi’s claim of innocence. The defense of Choi has been using Jung Dong-chun as a witness to counter Ko Young-tae’s claims
Another source of information has been Jang Si-ho, the niece of Choi Soon-sil. Through Choi’s power and control, Jang Si-ho established the Korea Winter Sports Foundation. Using such foundation, Jang Si-ho illegally gained profit, as well as illegal funding from conglomerates. Consequently, she is currently detained. However, after her relationship with Choi went ill, she released another tablet PC that Choi owned to the Independent Counsel.
The Independent Counsel has been group pursuing this Choi-gate case. The organization was created after a suggestion from the Congress. The Independent Counsel has been leading interrogations and arrest of major actors. The leader of the Independent Counsel is Park Young-soo.
Government (Blue House)
An Jong-bum, the former chief secretary of economy, carried out meetings with Choi Soon-sil and discussed the plans for the country. Also, An Jong-bum helped finance the Mir Foundation and K-Sports through the means of forcing conglomerates to pay money and threatening them by claiming that the government would support them less if the money was not paid. He aggregated a grand total of 77.4 billion won from the conglomerates. An Jong-bum’s memos and notes of President park’s orders were found in a series of notebooks, which is being used as evidence.
Jung Ho-seong, the former Presidential Chief Secretary, sent nearly 180 emails to Choi Soon-sil, filing in confidential government information, speech manuscripts for the president, and etc. Jung Ho-seong also had call recordings between President Park and him, which is being used as evidence. Ahn Bong-geun and Lee Jae-man, the other two Chief Secretaries, are currently missing and their whereabouts are unknown
Funds for the Mir Foundation and K-Sports Foundation were raised from conglomerate’s money. It is currently suspected that conglomerates received some sort of benefit. For example, Samsung decided to transact 40 billion won to the two foundations aforementioned. It also separately supported and financed Choi’s daughter’s horse riding program. Samsung received the benefits of having a smooth transition of power from the current president of Samsung to his son, Lee Jae-yong. Another example is Choi Tae-won from SK, who has been granted special clemency and released from prison without serving his full sentence. Others include Shin Dong-bin from Lotte and many others from Hanwha, Hyundai, LG, and etc.
Chai Eun-taek, a former movie director and a close associate of Choi Soon-sil, edited Presidential documents and speeches. He received such documents from Choi. Also, he abused his power and recommended certain people to positions in the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. His uncle, Kim Snag-reul; his mentor, Song Sung-gak; and his professor, Kim Jong-deok are just several of many who received such benefits.
Also, President Park controlled the media and culture of Korea by blacklisting any individuals who oppose the current Park administration and the conservative ideologies. Those on the blacklist would receive pressure from the government and receive no government funding. Cho Yoon-seon, the former General of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, drafted and managed the blacklist. Kim Gi-chun, the former Presidential Chief Secretary, planned the blacklist.
Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, received illegal and unjust favoring in the admissions process to university. Chung Yoo-ra’s illegal admission was directed by Kim Kyung-sook, a close associate of Choi Soon-sil and the University Dean. She introduced Choi Soon-sil to Choi Kyung-hee and Nam Gong-ro. Nam Gong-ro is the admissions director of the university, while Choi Kyung-hee was the former president of the university.
Chun Yoo-ra also received an illegal maintenance of grades from the teachers. She did not attend classes but was never marked absent. Also, several professors did homework for Chung Yoo-ra and claimed that Chung had done it.
A relationship that was created and maintained between President Park and Choi Soon-sil for more than 30 years developed into an ill-fated relationship. By meddling with all sectors of the Korean society, its government, culture, economy, and education, Choi Soon-sil and President Park caused the greatest government corruption scandal in Korea. It will surely fill the citizens with anger, remorse, and regret for decades to come. Currently, dozens of people are being arrested and interrogated. With the convergence of the citizens’ spirits in demonstrations, the democracy that failed up at the top is being held together, cleansed, and mended by the public. Despite this huge scandal that involved a huge amount of people, the larger public of Korea demonstrates the true, vibrant soul of democracy.