- Title: South Korea’s ex-presidential chief of staff testifies at parliament
- Date: 7th December 2016
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (DECEMBER 7, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PARLIAMENTARY HEARING IN PROGRESS SOUTH KOREAN CHAIRMAN OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY'S SPECIAL COMMITTEE, KIM SUNG-TAE (FAR LEFT), HITTING GAVEL, AND SOUTH KOREAN MEMBERS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, SITTING FORMER HEAD OF KOREA CREATIVE CONTENT AGENCY, SONG SUNG-GAK (FAR LEFT), FORMER SOUTH KOREAN SECOND VICE MINISTER OF CULTURE, SPORTS AND TOURISM, KIM CHONG (SECOND FROM LEFT), FORMER COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, CHA EUN-TAEK (CENTRE), FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF STAFF, KIM KI-CHOON (SECOND FROM RIGHT), AND CHOI SOON-SIL'S ACQUAINTANCE, KO YOUNG-TAE (FAR RIGHT) SITTING KIM KI-CHOON SITTING SOUTH KOREAN LAWMAKERS SITTING VARIOUS OF LAWMAKER OF SAENURI PARTY, CHANG JE-WON, SPEAKING WHILE HOLDING DOCUMENT PAPER (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF STAFF, KIM KI-CHOON, SAYING: "It is a shame and I apologise for what happened due to my inadequate assistance for the president." SOUTH KOREAN MEMBER OF THE PEOPLE'S PARTY, KIM KYUNG-JIN (LEFT), SPEAKING AND MEMBER OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SITTING KIM CHONG (FAR LEFT), CHA (SECOND FROM LEFT), KIM KI-CHOON (SECOND FROM RIGHT), AND KO (FAR RIGHT) SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) FORMER COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, CHA EUN-TAEK, SAYING: "Choi Soon-sil asked me several times for recommending someone, so I gave her several names. (Lawmaker asking question: It was accepted, wasn't it?) I understand Kim Jong-deok became a minister in the end." INVESTIGATION SESSION IN PROGRESS KIM CHONG (LEFT) AND CHA (RIGHT) SITTING CHA SITTING PARLIAMENTARY HEARING IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 22nd December 2016 06:43
- Keywords: parliamentary hearing park geun-hye political scandal influence-peddling scandal kim ki-choon cha eun-taek choi soon-sil
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BVW7D1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Former South Korean presidential Chief of Staff, Kim Ki-choon, said on Wednesday (December 7) he apologised for not assisting president Park Geun-hye properly and it caused the recent political scandal at a parliamentary hearing.
The second round of the parliamentary hearing over South Korea's influence-peddling scandal began on Wednesday morning in Seoul.
President Park's key aides including Kim Ki-choon, Former Commercial Director, Cha Eun-taek, and acquaintance of Park's friend Choi Soon-sil, Ko Young-tae, attended the hearing to testify.
Choi Soon-sil, however, did not attend the hearing due to health issues, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency said.
"It is a shame and I apologise for what happened due to my inadequate assistance for the president," Kim said during a parliamentary hearing.
Yonhap said Kim Ki-choon is accused of overlooking Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs.
Former Commercial Director, Cha Eun-taek, admitted some allegations that he and Choi Soon-sil exerted influence on appointing a cultural minister.
"Choi Soon-sil asked me several times for recommending someone, so I gave her several names. (Lawmaker asking question: It was accepted, wasn't it?) I understand Kim Jong-deok became a minister in the end," Cha said.
Choi and Cha are also alleged to have influenced a presidential media advisory committee. Through that Choi is said to have exercised influence over the Culture Ministry to push her own vision and to make appointments to government agencies of Cha's associates.
Park's presidency has been rocked by allegations that Choi used her ties to the president to meddle in state affairs and wield improper influence.
Park's embattled presidency faces a critical juncture, with parliament expected to hold an impeachment vote on Friday (December 9).
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