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Seoul Judge Cancels Lee Dong-jae Search Warrant

A central district Seoul judge upon application by the attorney for Lee Dong-jae, the now jailed former reporter for the ultra-conservative Channel A News, has canceled the search warrants by which his hand phones and notebook were obtained by investigators.

Lee Dong-jae is a prime suspect in the so called press-prosecution collusion scandal. Lee is under investigation for attempting to coerce Lee Chol, currently jailed for financial crimes related to his investment business, into incriminating political pundit and former cabinet minister Yoo Shi-min with false evidence. Senior prosecutor Han Dong-hun is suspected of conspiring with Lee Dong-jae to do this. Han Dong-hun is allegedly close to the Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol. The judge's ruling effectively withdraws the evidence, including forensic evidence of audio files of conversations between Han and Lee, and the incriminating "timeline" and transcripts associated with them from consideration in the case. The decision by Judge Kim Chan-hyun was made the same day the Prosecutors' Committee to Consider Investigative Evidence recommended against investigation of Han Dong-hun and for a no indictment disposition. The latter recommendation has no procedural weight according to the Ministry of Justice and is regarded as a public relations effort by the Prosecutor General's Office to influence the media and public opinion. The Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office is conducting an independent investigation and the Ministry of Justice ordered the Prosecutor General to desist from interference.

The judge stated that the procedure followed to execute the warrant issued last April to the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's investigative team was defective, failing to provide sufficient notice to Lee Dong-hae, of the contents of the warrant, the items to be seized and the circumstances surrounding the seizure. According to UPI Korea, there was an attempt to serve the warrant at the homes of two reporters and at the office of Channel A News, April 28. The phones were not surrendered at that time due to resistance by the reporters. Then later on May 18, a representative from Channel A News surrendered Lee's two hand phones and notebook at a Seoul Hotel to investigators. On May 22, Lee personally visited the Seoul Central District Office to participate in the forensic investigation of which he alleged he had not been informed. At that time he filed his application for judicial review regarding the warrant.*

*법원 "영장 표지만 보여준 檢…채널A 기자 압수수색 위법" 주영민 2020-07-27 08:59:44

There are various criticisms of the decision vacating the warrant. One is that the phone wasn't in possession of Lee Dong-hae, but was in the custody of Channel A News, and was surrendered by a representative of Channel A News. Channel A News had the phone in their custody after the dispute arose. Lee is claiming a "legal right" to notice of the warrant contents at the time of execution. One report suggested Lee had a right to participate in the forensic evaluation of the evidence which was violated by the nature of the warrant execution. Ironically, another judge had ruled recently that Lee Dong-jae be confined pending the investigation because he was a threat to the collection of evidence. The UPI report says an application by Lee Dong-jae for return of the evidence and withdrawal of any forensic evidence was submitted on July 27 but not yet accepted for review.

Comments on South Korean social media by journalists and pundits have criticized the decision which obstructs the investigation as a practical matter. An attorney for the investigation team, observing an appropriate professional demeanor, tactfully said they would examine the "grounds and reasoning" of the decision and consider filing an appeal. The seized items have not yet been returned to Lee Dong-jae pending a decision by the investigating team whether to proceed with an interim appeal on the illegality of the warrant execution. Whatever happens the stall tactics and the media circus conducted by the conservative media and Prosecutor General's Office continue. Prosecutor Han Dong-hun has a guaranteed podium in the Chosun Ilbo, where he ludicrously portrays himself as "martyr." One pundit noticed the similarity to Hwang Kyo-ahn's rhetoric during his theatrical hunger strike. The whole objective of the press prosecution scheme to frame Yoo Shi-min, a spokesperson for the legacy of No Mu-hyun and the popular democratic reform elements in South Korea was to negatively affect the April 15 general election in favor of the Mi Tong Dang conservatives. The same was true of the prosecution against former Justice Minister Cho Guk. The South Korean public perceived these schemes for what they were, and the conservatives went down to a historic electoral defeat. The conservative mainstream media and public prosecutors' offices are, in effect, conducting a Custer like last stand until they can get to the next general election.

South Korea: When the Crow Flies, a Pear Falls from the Tree

These are the last few paragraphs to my most recent write up about the press-prosecution collusion scandal in South Korea. This is a power struggle playing out in the courts and media which I've been interpreting for a few months.    It's almost a watergate gate type meltdown, with a discussion of the audiofiles now dominating the headlines.  It's difficult to keep up with all the developments which will determine the future of South Korea.   If you are interested in the details about the audiofiles and the so called Channel A News case of press prosecution corruption see:

South Korea's Press-Prosecution Collusion Scandal: the audio transcript July 23

.....There are several other cases in the queue of suspected prosecution-press collusion aimed at high profile democratic politicians who have been either been investigated, indicted or convicted to remove them from the political scene. The pending trials, of the former Justice Minister Cho Guk and his wife; the current governor of Kyeongkido, Lee Jae-myeong (acquitted last week); and the former Prime Minister Han Myung-sook (who was convicted on false testimony and served her sentence) are part of this pattern. There are others. The significance of the Yoo Shi-min Channel A News case is that it presents an immediate investigative challenge to the Prosecutor General's Office. It is a first attempt by the Democratic administration to get some oversight over a prosecution process that appears to have gone wild. Some critics say the unchecked abuse of power by Prosecutor General Yoon represents the final legacy of right wing authoritarian rule in South Korea. Lee Jae-myeong was a potential candidate for presidential office after President Moon's term ends. The prominent and charismatic former Justice Minister Cho Guk was also a political threat to the vested chaebol interests.

Addendum 7.24

YTN News now reports that there were additional phone calls made by Lee Dong-jae to Han Dong-hun on 3.18 and 3.20 which correspond to the timing of meetings with the "informant." It is plain for all but those who refuse to see, that Prosecutor Han Dong-hun was "outsourcing" an unethical investigation to reporters at Channel A News. Channel A denies the allegations but will not comment on the grounds for disciplining other staff at the time Lee Dong-jae was fired. To make matters worse a former Justice Minister has disclosed that he learned that Yoon Seok-yeol had a secret meeting with the CEO of Chosun Ilbo while that powerful conservative media organization was subject to several lawsuits from labor and public interest groups, and one criminal investigation into the CEO's son for embezzlement and breach of trust. Yoon's office refuses to confirm the allegation. The legal analyst made reference to a Chinese proverb, "When the crow flies, a pear falls."*

*烏飛梨落. 오비이락 When the crow flies a pear falls from the tree. A strange coincidence arouses suspicion. Naver.com

Is all this correlation of evidence proof of guilt? The analyst said that he felt the legal committee of senior lawyers Yoon had established to consider the evidence against prosecutor Han, and former reporter Lee, would probably avoid a hasty decision, and await the development of further evidence to confirm the circumstantial coincidences in the evidence thus far. The decision of the ad hoc committee to consider evidence in the case and then vote on whether the investigation should proceed or whether indictments should be preferred, is completely without authority in the view of the Ministry of Justice. Other observers have commented that it is a trick to allow the media and Prosecutor General to save face by trying the press prosecution collusion cases in the media. The investigating team of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office was granted the authority to conduct a completely independent investigation without interference from Prosecutor Yoon's office because of conflict of interest. Yoon continues to ignore Justice Minister Chu's orders.

South Korea's Prosecutor General "waves the white flag?"

(Source-YTN 뉴있저, 7.9.20) Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol v. Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae. Yoon finally raises the white flag; Chu regrets missing her chance. The graphic depicts the chronology of the showdown over the disputed investigation of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office into the so called press prosecution collusion scandal:

July 2: Minister Chu gives notice that investigative command powers are withdrawn (from Yoon).

July 8 (am): Minister Chu gives final notice to Prosecutor General Yoon- "your response is requested by tomorrow morning at 10:00.

July 8 (pm): Yoon submits a proposal for an independent investigation office. Chu rejects Yoon's compromise proposal

July 9 The Prosecutor General accedes to the Justice Ministers command.

In the immediate case under investigation, a senior prosecutor, Han Dong-hun, close to Prosecutor General Yoon, allegedly colluded with Channel A News reporter Lee Dong-jae, to support a prosecution for political purposes by soliciting false testimony. Prosecutor General Yoon has been interfering in the conduct of the investigation by the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office investigative team. He attempted to have a division of his office supervise the investigation and then diverted the investigation for consideration by a so called board of experts. Justice Minister Chu's actions to remove Yoon's influence over the investigation, were based on legal authority reported to have been put in place on January 28, 2020, by the former Justice Minister Cho Guk, who was working to implement the democratic party's legal reform measures promoted by the Moon administration. Yoon had no other apparent options left, other than compliance as he could have been fired for insubordination. Thus far, President Moon has refrained from directing Yoon's removal without a clear cut foundation in the law. YTN presented differing opinions on whether Minister Chu actually wanted to remove Yoon. Certainly, that involves a political as well legal calculation. Such may be forthcoming at a later date as the alleged improper activities of the prosecutor's offices, hopefully, will now be subjected to unimpeded scrutiny.

It is somewhat amusing to consider that in political circles some had discussed the possibility that Yoon allowed this protracted public dispute with the Justice Minister to serve as a platform for a future presidential candidacy. YTN analyst Lee Dong-hyung suggested his leadership has been weakened by the ongoing dispute. Yoon's position had been shaken despite his arrogant assertion recently that it takes a lot to move his one hundred kilogram plus body. This is almost as poorly formulated a strategy as those of Hwang Kyo-ahn and Na Kyung-won before the April 15 elections whose transparently confrontational and poorly considered tactics earned them and their party a disastrous outcome at the polls. Yoon's stubborn recalcitrance and insubordination have only earned more public distrust, as one speculates on his motives to interfere with the investigation of press-prosecution collusion. Yoon's motivation for not resigning at this point is regarded simply as pride and ambition by some observers. Alternately, he can remain as the point man for the right in the daily news cycle, and also attempt to indirectly influence outcomes as to the prosecutors from his inner circle who might be subject to investigation at some future point. Nevertheless, the YTN analyst contended that the issues underlying the power struggle between Yoon and Justice Minister Chu began as a partisan issue, and the ultimate results of the investigation will be viewed from the same partisan perspective. The right will criticize any unfavorable outcome as the result of political bias, and there will be continuing partisan resistance on the right to legal reform of the residual corrupt practices affecting the administration of justice in South Korea.

Battle for Control of South Korea's Justice System

South Korean Legal Crisis - Can Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae restrain Supreme Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol?

Currently, one method by which the flagging right wing in South Korea attempts to check the growing power of the left is through the power of the Supreme Prosecutor's Office.(1) The current chief prosecutor of South Korea, Yoon Seok-yeol, was appointed by democratic President Moon Jae-in, perhaps without having properly vetted the candidate.(2) President Moon at Yoon's investiture expressed a strong desire that Yoon exercise his office in an impartial and unbiased manner so that the public interest in justice would be well served. However, Yoon is a conservative. He openly supported Na Kyung-won, and Hwang Kyo-ahn, leaders of the right wing party in South Korea, in the last general election, which appeared somewhat inappropriate under the circumstances. The conservatives lost the April 15 election when the Democratic Party won an unprecedented landslide victory in the National Assembly. Both Na and Hwang lost their campaigns for seats in the 21st National Assembly.

Recently, investigative reporting revealed recent examples of political manipulation of the prosecution process to the detriment of the reputation of the administration of criminal justice in South Korea. A flagrant injustice in the spotlight in this regard was the prosecution of former Prime Minister Han Myeong-suk convicted of financial misconduct. There is considerable evidence her conviction was obtained by perjured witness testimony solicited by the prosecution. PM Han's unjust prosecution only recently came to light. She had already served her two year sentence in prison and been released.

The more recent case is that of Yoo Shi-min, a high profile figure on the left due to his prominent position as director of the No Mu-hyun foundation. In the latter case, a reporter for A Channel News, allegedly acting on behalf of the prosecution attempted to solicit perjured testimony against foundation director Yoo to facilitate prosecution for financial crimes. The offending reporter Lee Dong-jae, was reportedly fired by Channel A News on June 25. Three other Channel A employees allegedly implicated in the plan to one degree or another, received suspensions or reprimands. Channel A News is a subsidiary of the conservative Dong A Media group. Complaints were filed against Channel A's reporter, and against a senior prosecutor for his alleged involvement in the scheme to extort perjury for use at trial against Yoo. The accused prosecutor, Han Dong-hun, is allegedly very close to Supreme Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol. For shorthand purposes the episode is commonly referred to as the Channel A News case.

The Channel A case stands for a more generalized political corruption of the Chief Prosecutor's Office referred to as (unlawful) press- prosecution alliance.(3) The major conservative mainstream media giants, Dong A, Chosun, and Choongang media groups are allegedly the principal platforms for distributing false, prejudicial, or misleading inside information, from prosecutors conducting investigations to stigmatize targeted political rivals of the right. After creating a public uproar with inflammatory accusations, the prosecutions then are carried out employing evidence obtained by coercing witnesses who typically are already in jail or in prison after convictions for fraud, financial crimes and the like. False testimony is induced by threats against the prisoners or their family members, or promises of favoritism from the prosecution offices.

(Source- 뉴스썰TV, 4.27) Supreme Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol (right) greeting prosecutor Han Dong-hun, (far left).

The Channel A case initially had been referred to the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office for investigation. Because the case involves alleged political manipulation by the Chief Prosecutor's Office, and the suspected involvement of Han Dong-hun, allegedly Yoon Seok-yeol's right hand man, Yoon immediately attempted to take supervisory control of the case. His first inclination was to put the Human Rights division of his office in control of the case. (Han protested he was being slandered). The Seoul Central District Senior Prosecutor and other prosecutors in that branch office are reportedly "outsiders" not loyal to Yoon. In June of this year, Yoon's next step was to recruit senior prosecutors and jurists as nominees, mostly related to his office in some way, to become members of a so called Board of Experts to review and consider the evidence in the case. Efforts by the subordinate Seoul Central District branch office to obtain a warrant of arrest for the Channel A reporter, or subpoena prosecutor Han were ignored. The case has became bogged down in a bureaucratic power struggle between the Minister of Justice Chu Mi-ae, and Supreme Prosecutor, Yoon Seok-yeol.

(Source- 뉴스반장 7.2 ) Current South Korean Minister of Justice Chu Mi-ae.

Inevitably, this case is linked with other major developments politically. The first is the successful passage of the prosecutorial reform fast track legislation before the end of the 20th National Assembly. The former Justice Minister Cho Guk, was a major proponent of that legislation promoted by the Blue House, President Moon, and the Democratic Party. One of the very purposes of the Review Board for Public Official Corruption was to preclude the unjustified pursuit of political prosecutions demonstrated in the Channel A case. It is not a coincidence then, that the Central Prosecutor's Office initiated charges against former Justice Minister's wife, professor Jung Kyeong-sim, for an assortment of financial crimes, fraud and influence peddling, as the legal reforms appeared on the horizon. Various accusations were also made concerning fraud in arranging her daughter's college admissions and academic credentials. The effort was intended to portray the former Justice Minister and the democrats in general as frauds and hypocrites that needed to be removed from office.

Ultimately, Justice Minister Cho was also indicted as a conspirator and forced by events to resign. He was also accused of abuse of power while in office. Some observers referred to Yoon's prosecution of the sitting Justice Minister and his spouse as a "coup d'etat." There are reports, regarded as a credible, that Yoon personally ordered Cho Guk's prosecution. Cho's wife, who was jailed on a warrant, is disabled and suffering from the sequalae of an auto accident. She was recently released from jail after six months pre-trial confinement when the judge would not issue another order for confinement. Her lengthy trial resulted July 1 in findings of not guilty on all the major financial crimes of which she was charged. This places her prosecution and that of Cho Guk in the same improper, unlawful and unjust context as the Channel A news case and the prosecution of former PM Han Myeong-suk. The disposition of some other charges involving attempted destruction of evidence, creation of false academic documents, and very thinly based technical charges against Minister Cho for acts while in office, are not clear at this point as the trials and litigation are ongoing. A distant relative of Cho Guk, Cho Beom-dong, was convicted of securities finance violations and received a four year sentence. A personal financial advisor to Prof. Jung received an eight month sentence for concealment of evidence, computer disc drives.

In any case, the outcome of the Cho related trials is not dispositive for Yoon or his former senior prosecutor Han. The faltering case just presents more grist for the public discontent with Yoon's way of doing business. It is the order issued today by the current Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae which is intended to remove Yoon's authority or that of anyone in his office to interfere with the investigation of the Channel A News scandal. The Justice Minister has elevated the status of the chief of the investigation team at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office to an independent investigator and the Supreme Prosecutor will only get a report when the investigation is complete. The second major element of the Justice Minister's command to Yoon Seok-yeol is to adjourn the so called expert's group to evaluate evidence collected in the case. According to the brief accompanying the order, the recruitment and selection process of this group from within the Chief Prosecutors Office, was not in accordance with legal regulations, was conducted arbitrarily, and did not warrant the public trust under the circumstances. Additionally, it wasn't appropriate in light of the existing jurisdiction of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office for the Supreme Prosecutors Office to conduct a parallel investigation, organize the so called "experts group" or meetings among chief prosecutors designed to affect the outcome of the investigation in light of the Supreme Prosecutor's Office close relationship to the subject of the investigation. In essence, can the Supreme Prosecutor's Office investigate itself? Can it investigate the actions of prosecutors known to be a part of the Supreme Prosecutor's inner circle? Can it select impartial investigators from its own ranks? The answer is clearly no. Public trust and confidence in the Surpreme Prosecutor's office is nonexistent at this point.

It remains to be seen what further obstructions Yoon and Han can place in the path of a credible and effective investigation into these matters which has as its ultimate object restoration of public faith in the offices of prosecutors throughout South Korea, and the administration of justice free from political bias. Some analyst's are anticpating a resignation at some point from Yoon. But if he resigns, he will no longer be in a position to create roadblocks to the investigation, and the relationship of mutual support with Han may be placed in jeopardy.

1)It is probably preferable to translate the position as Director of the Chief Prosecutors Office or Prosecutor General. In light of the excessive power demonstrated by the office over the years, the blog opted for the term Supreme Prosecutor, which political pundits have indicated is a customary practice [ 검찰총장 v. 검찰창장 ] that should be left behind. 추다르크 수사지휘권 발동! 윤석열총장 떨고있나?; @8:35 시사건건 downloaded from youtube 7.2.20.

(2) Prosecutor Yoon's reputation for integrity is somewhat tainted by association with allegations of fraud by his mother in law and spouse in past business translations. Critics in South Korea contend that their ability to get away with past financial crimes rested on trading on Yoon's status as a senior prosecutor. These past alleged transgressions have been rendered moot, for the most part, by the statute of limitations.

(3) ( 언찰유착 ) press prosecution collusion.


This is the Kingmaker in North Korea if there is a succession

Choe Ryong-Hae, Vice Chairman, President

As SPA president, Mr Choe is technically head of state, although real power in North Korea is wielded by Mr Kim and his immediate family.

Analysts say his appointment suggests a generational shift in the North's leadership, especially after the collapse of the Hanoi summit with Mr Trump in February.

Born in 1950, Mr Choe is considered Mr Kim's right-hand man – frequently referred to as the regime's "virtual number two official".


Kim Yo-jong derives most of her power from her brother Kim Jong-un. The other potential successor to Kim Jong-un is his uncle, Kim Pyong-il who is Kim Jong-il's brother. He returned from overseas after a lengthy diplomatic career as ambassador in Europe, where he was essentially in exile for decades. Kim Pyong-il is Kim Il-sung's son. Thae Yong Ho, did an analysis of Kim Pyong-il yesterday in which it was reported that he is under house arrest, since his return in November 2019, because he is a preferable contender for power among the current ruling elites, led by Vice Chairman Choe, who now in their sixties, went to the same schools he did and now serve in the top party positions. KIm Pyong-il always has been regarded as a potential threat to succession, but he has remained a modest public servant with a low political profile to survive. Thae Yong Ho met him overseas in a professional capacity three times according to his interview on Channel A News Top Ten, yesterday. Kim Pyong-il served as ambassador to Poland and Czech Republic in his later assignments. Thae, a North Korean defector from the DPRK embassy in London, was elected to the South Korean National Assembly April 25 from the upper crust Gangnam district is Seoul, as a United Future Party Candidate. (Thae Yong-ho changed his name just before the election for some reason, now it's Thae Ku-min)

(Source- Channel A News Top Ten, 4.24) Kim Il Sung (left); Kim Pyong-il (center); Thae Ku-min aka Thae Yong-ho (right)

Thae's assessment is that there could be a power struggle or purge in the event of Kim's demise, while the old guard clings to the past and regards Kim Yo-jong as too young and inexperienced to rule. Thae prefers that Kim Yo-jong succeed Kim Jong-un. The program depicted Kim Yo-jong as isolated in the top echelons of power in North Korea. Even a nominal succession by her to power would be subject to resistance under the surface by the older and more experienced cadre of party elites who allegedly identify with Kim Pyong-il. The scenario presented is the classic maneuvering that takes place around the royal family before succession during the Chosun dynasty.


South Korean DongA news reports Kim Jong-un observed in Wonsan, NK

Channel A News reported in an exclusive that Kim Jong Un has been observed walking around in the Wonsan area without assistance. They believe he's been there for at least four days between the 15 and 20 April.

Relying on two unidentified South Korean government and military related sources, The Channel A report indicated they got this information from an unidentified US administration source:

(Source- Channel A News 4.23, youtube upload)

Analysts speculated that he was there to avoid risk of covid 19 infection in Pyongyang. The image shown above appears to be from a file video. The related DongA newspaper exclusive report says that US analysts made this assessment based on electronic and imagery analysis.* DongA media owns Channel A news. According the Donga.com report, the US source said Kim Jong-un's health status was subject to further consideration by analysts.

*[단독] 美당국자 “김정은 원산서 걷는 모습 포착”
워싱턴=김정안 특파원 , 한상준 기자 , 황인찬 기자 , 도쿄=박형준 특파원입력 2020-04-24 03:00수정 2020-04-24 03:30

South Korea's Supreme Prosecutor embroiled in family corruption scandals

Is Yoon Seok-yeol obstructing prosecution of Na Kyung-won?

눈치 (noon chi) tact; sense; wits. An ability to understand and know someone's mind or situation even though they have said nothing. Naver Korean-English Dictionary.

(Source- Hankyoreh "Hardboil" broadcast 3.15 citing MBS Straight 2.9) Conservative leader Na Kyung-won (center) and husband, Judge Kim Jae-ho, (left). Did the latter play an improper role in delaying the prosecution of a fraud trial related to Chief Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol's family?

The influence peddling, abuse of process, nepotism and payola surrounding Na Kyung-won and her daughter related to the Paralympic Korea organization subsidized by the South Korean Ministry of Sports and Culture has been the subject of multiple complaints with prosecution offices filed by a civic interest group. Na Kyung-won, former Libery Korea Party* Assembly floor leader, chaired the Paralympic organization. Her daughter was selected as a director and representative by the Paralympic organization as alleged by Ahn Jin-geol, head of the People's Livelihood Research Institute. There are the related improprieties of Na's daughter being admitted to college through the influence peddling emanating through the Paralympics organizing commmittee. A Paralympics production design contract was directed to the college instructor who was responsible for Na's daughter being admitted to college. Beyond this, Na, the Assembly floor leader of the opposition Liberty Korea Party* (LKP), along with party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn, led a number of unlawful disorderly obstructions of National Assembly proceedings in April 2019, and also earlier this year, related to special legislation including prosecutorial reform measures. These and fast track electoral reform measures were opposed by the LKP. Batteries were committed by the LKP at one point or another on other members of the Assembly and the Speaker of the Assembly. These incidents were referred for investigation and prosecution. None of these complaints has resulted in a single prosecution. It seems that among other right wing politicians, Na Kyung-won is above the law. Why is this?

*The right wing opposition Liberty Party Korea is now known at the Mirae Tonghap Dang, United Future Party.

(Source- Hankyoreh "Hardboil" broadcast 3.15 ) Yoon Seok-yeol, appointed to the Supreme Prosecutor's Office in July 2019 by President Moon Jae-in.

A daily series of unprofessional leaks from the prosecution office after Yoon Seok-yeol's appointment as Supreme Prosecutor concerning the investigation of the family of the former Justice Minister Cho-guk, cause one to wonder whether Yoon is on the same page of music as the democratic party administration. While regarded as a "reformer" in the past leading to his appointments to high office by the democratic party administration, is this really the case? Yoon describes himself as "conservative." The purpose of his appointment was to advance prosecutorial reforms and "depoliticize" the prosecutor's offices nationwide.

Chief Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol's mother in law was implicated in multiple suspicious business transactions leading to criminal charges, in which only others were found guilty and imprisoned. The first case emerged in 2003. Ms. Choi and her business partner Mr. Cheong Dae Taek, sued each other after Choi failed to honor a contract obliging her to pay him approximately 2.5 billion won as his share of profits from their real estate investment. During the course of legal proceedings related to the first trial, Choi solicited false statements from a witness to bolster her defense. Large sums of money and an apartment in the name of her daughter Kim Gyeon-hee had been furnished to the perjuring witness. Mother in law Choi escaped punishment alleging her business partner, coerced Choi into entering in a fraudulent transaction. Cheong was sentenced to 2 years in prison as well as losing his money and reputation. Kim Gyeon-hee later married Yoon. Years later in August 2012, the perjuring witness who was terminally ill wrote an affidavit confessing his perjury induced by money paid by Choi, and her daughter's apartment provided in kind. Cheong brought another suit against Choi seeking her prosecution for fraud and perjury among other remedies. Cheong's lawsuit went nowhere and may be barred by the statute of limitations at this point. The litigation history is complex and is conflated with other lawsuits pending against Ms. Choi which will be barred by the statute of limitations at the end of this month.

Another fraudulent scenario evolved in a second case from 2013. In the later trial several forged bank certifications alleged Ms. Choi had millions in cash deposits (34.9 Billion won), far more than she did, in order to secure millions of dollars in loans for a large real estate purchase. The fraudulent bank certifications were fabricated by an employee of a corporation allegedly owned by Choi's second daughter, the wife of the current Supreme Prosecutor. In an additional wrinkle, Kim Gyeon-hee, prosecutor Yoon's wife, allegedly induced Choi's partner Ms. Ahn to turn over her interest in the land, now worth tens of millions of dollars, to a "family corporation." Na's husband, Kim Jae-ho, was the judge presiding over the retrial of the 2013 case which was delayed for a year and a half as a consequence of an order of transfer he entered. This may have brought the pending charges against Ms. Choi to naught as the seven year statute of limitations is about to lapse on March 30 in large part due to the delay. Na's "explanation" of the otherwise inexplicable delay, is that it was made on the defendants' motion, not her husband's instigation. It is alleged that it was an order to consolidate cases against Choi, which resulted in a transfer of the case out of his jurisdiction to that of another judge, so he is not responsible for the delay. Attorneys in various newscasts and other interested attorneys have rendered less charitable opinions to the effect that the lack of diligent prosecution of these fraudulent actions by Choi seem questionable.

Choi has alleged when questioned that she is an unsophisticated person having only a high school education, and not able to understand the legal documents she has signed. In the first case, she alleged she was coerced to sign a contract, and had no obligation to perform on the 2.5 billion won she owes her former partner Mr. Cheong, on the first transaction for which he was sentenced to prison for two years. In the later litigation, after daughter Kim formed a relationship with Yoon, it is alleged that Choi, used the family relationship with her politically powerful son-in-law as part of her confidence game to obtain credit in large business transactions. One of these included a prosecution case involving a hospital board and a "health care foundation" unlawfully established to wrest profits out of hospital reserve funds. Again she was determined to be not guilty, while others went to prison.

(Source- MBC "Straight" 3.09.20) Supreme Prosecutor Yoon Seok-cheol, with his wife, Kim Geon-hee.

At the time the forged bank certifications case against Choi was before Na's husband, Yoon was the director of the felony division at the Supreme Prosecutor's office. The allegation being made now by Ahn Jin-geol's public interest group is that Yoon could be exercising influence to protect Na Kyung-won as a quid pro quo for protection of his mother in law (and wife) in the previous business scandal. Ironically, these scandalous business affairs are not too different in nature from that seen in the Cho Guk family debacle doggedly pursued after Yoon was appointed Supreme Prosecutor as an anti-corruption reformer. The response of Yoon has been to deny these allegations of improper influence categorically. Na likewise denies allegations against her family as fake news without any explanation of the conclusions of independent investigations into irregularities surrounding the Paralympic organization she headed and her daughter's disputed academic achievements. The question really is why are none of the accusations and charges against Na being diligently pursued by prosecutors? According to Mr. Ahn's allegations, the dereliction of prosecutorial duties may be explained by corruption in the Supreme Prosecutor's office. Supreme Prosecutor Yoon's counter argument is that if these allegations are true, why don't the complainants sue me? Would these suits go any further than the eleven complaints already brought thus far by the public interest group against Representative Na? Is Supreme Prosecutor Yoon slow walking the prosecutions in order to allow the general elections April 15 determine his future course?

<b>법꾸라지- "Legal eel," 법률 과 미꾸라지, a new word formation reflecting the joinder of related persons, information and knowledge, conjoining legal power and skill in use against public order maneuvering like an eel to skillfully screen the persons involved and elude the punishment provided by law. </b> (original source in hangul, Naver Korean-Eng Dictionary)

An unrelated Ahn was Choi's partner in the 2013 land deal. Choi's first false bank certificate said she held 10 billion won in deposits. She actually signed four forged certificates totaling 34.9 billion won. Choi admitted the documents were false in court but claimed she was without knowledge of their significance. The evidence of forgery was so clear, the failure to prosecute her is inexplicable. In light of her experience eliciting millions in loans in business deals and millions more in profit, Choi's claim of ignorance seems unlikely. The "Straight" program investigative reporter alleged he found evidence of six similar transactions related to Choi. Ms. Ahn stated that Yoon's wife was part of the 2013 land deal, offered help to provide financing, and that they met multiple times. Kim Geon-hee denies the allegation saying they only met once, and they didn't discuss the real estate investment Ms. Ahn had entered with her mother Choi.

Actually the original article says suspected cases.

re: 북한군도 ‘발칵’…코로나19 의심 사망 200명 육박 By 정태주 기자 -2020.03.06 4:56 오후 NK News 3.6

Which is kind of odd. If they have a covert source inside the North Korean military, the person would be risking their life and that of their family and relatives to report this. So why beat around the bush? Is it an intentional leak? Kim sent a friendly letter to Pres. Moon, a few days back, expressing sympathy concerning the S.Korean covid 19 situation. Are they looking for medical aid?

One possible explanation would be that they had no access to covid 19 test kits. The Russians reported giving them 1500 test kits on February 26 maybe too late to affect this situation. The article suggested strategic rocket forces might be affected along with the other services. The longer ranged ballistic missile forces are in this "belt."

This is a good article in Science magazine that refers to difficulties the nation wide quarantine is having on importation of TB supplies. There is a wide spread TB problem according to the author, with "thousands" of cases. There is a reference to service personnel in the NKnews article above concerning a history of disease or impaired immune system.


The geographic distribution of the alleged deaths approaching 200 is in the frontier provinces along the North Korean border with China, where one might expect the problem to occur. This is consistent with their earlier article that i posted, except Pyongyang where 7 deaths were reported and South Hwanghae where Haeju is located, (close to S.Korea on the West Sea) isn't mentioned at all. There were reportedly 2 dead in Hwanghae in the earlier report. The earlier NKnews report seems to come from a different source and was referenced near the end in the current article which is the source for the OP. ( 중앙 비상방역지휘부 )


So this new NKnews report is at least consistent with the earlier report to some extent except for the failure to report on the southern areas I described. I think this is massaged to conceal the sources.

South Korea covid 19 update: Daegu Sincheonji cluster

(Source- Daegu MBC News, 03.08.20, youtube upload)

Here is another late report demonstrating evasion of public health measures by Sincheonji followers:

A cluster of 46 Shincheonji related covid 19 cases was discovered March 8, at the the Han Maeum Apartments in Daegu. Two thirds of cases were reported to be Sincheonji members. The members had been meeting in three separate places ten people at at a time, spreading the infection. Two of the Shincheonji persons were confirmed cases who violated health regulations by not following directions from health officials to quarantine themselves. 9 of the cluster cases had to be hospitalized. Others were moved to an intermediate care center for quarantine, observation and treatment. (Source is MBC News, 3/8/20) The Daegu authorities had given notice that any Sincheonji who haven't yet turned themselves in for examination by tomorrow will be prosecuted.

(Source- Daegu MBC News, 03.08.20, youtube upload)

Daegu public health officials announced that their investigation of Shincheonji members as potential carriers of the Covid 19 virus was "95 percent complete." For the time being the rate of increase in the number of Daegu area corona virus cases seems to be slowing as shown by the graphic above. But for the Sincheonji cluster at the Maeum Apartment complex, the increase in cases today would have been significantly lower.

(Source- YTN News O3.08.20 youtube upload )

So out of 7,134 cases at the start of the day 3.8, cases near the Shincheonji clusters in Daegu and Gyeongbukdo, are 5,381 and 1,081 respectively. This is 90 percent of all cases in South Korea. The cases officially determined to be connected to the cult, directly or indirectly at this point by public health authorities is said to be 63 percent.

Political impact of the Daegu-Gyeongbuk covid 19 cluster (South Korea)

(Source- JTBC 2.24) The overwhelming majority of cases in South Korea are centered in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk area. Daegu, economically and socially is an integral part of Gyeongsanbukdo (province) although a separate administrative region. Of the 833 confirmed cases of covid 19 today, a total of 682 come from this area (484+198). 82 percent of all cases in South Korea. The cluster of cases here have been confirmed overwhelmingly, (75%) directly or indirectly, to be associated with the Sincheonchi activities at its Daegu Church or Daenam hospital.

The Sincheonchi organization has declared it is in cooperation with the government public health effort to contain the covid 19 epidemic. A representative of the organization deplored the hate and discrimination it said it was experiencing as a result of recent events. Yet, As of news reports a several hours ago, the Sincheonchi cult organization in Seoul was uncooperative in providing a complete list of their members in Seoul, Korea. The cult organization there was being encouraged in their resistance to lawful public health measures by the charlatan minister, Jeon Kwang-hoon, who leads the unrelated Korean Christian Conference and directed the unlawful "Taegukki" (Korean flag) demonstration in Gwanghwamun last weekend. After the imposition of a state of emergency by the national government in South Korea, warrants will be sought against the Sincheonchi organisation for the relevant information needed for epidemiological tracking. Assemblies of persons in Gwangwhamun and other large public plazas in Seoul are now declared illegal for public health reasons. A group of persons said to be representing Daegu was present at the Kanghwamun plaza demonstration this weekend. The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, confronted the entire gathered assembly personally as to the unlawful nature of the gathering in light of the public health emergency. He was booed and hissed.

Source- 미디어몽구 Media Mongul (youtube) 2.22. Minister Jeon Kwang-hoon waving US flag at Gwanghwamun Plaza as he addresses unlawful demonstration.

In public statements on the radio, yesterday, the mayor warned that police would blockade the public venues on February 29 when another Taegukki assembly led by the demogogue minister and his far right acolytes is anticipated. A confrontation is to be expected in which physical force would become a likely outcome to remove and disperse unlawful demonstrators violating the new health ban. Nominally, the Sincheonchi and Jeon Kwang-hoon are antagonistic to each other. Jeon Kwang-hoon is goading the Sincheonchi not to cooperate with the government, as well as his own followers. The mayor stated he suspected Jeon was not in his right mind.

If one views the entire situation in context, with the upcoming April 15 elections; US pressure on South Korea to cough up additional billions for defense cost sharing; the continuing thousands of far right demonstrators and Jeon himself, in Gwanghwamoon waving their US flags a stones throw from the US embassy building; the encouragement of resistance to public health measures by the religious right appears to be a concerted effort to take advantage of the public health crisis in South Korea to unseat the democratically elected administration of Moon Jae-in.

DongA.com reported this morning that Minister Jeon was arrested on grounds of violating South Korean election campaign laws.
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