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Floor leaders agree to look into LCT scandal

Mar 21,2017
The floor leaders of Korea’s four major political parties agreed Monday to launch a special probe into the LCT real estate development project after the May 9 presidential election, reigniting a massive bribery case that revealed links between senior government officials and a con artist in Busan.

The agreement was made during a four-person meeting attended by Woo Sang-ho of the main opposition Democratic Party, Joo Seung-yong of the minor liberal People’s Party, Chung Woo-taik of the former ruling Liberty Korea Party and Joo Ho-young of the minor conservative Bareun Party.

It was the first time that the four leaders came together after agreeing last week to hold a weekly meeting for policy discussions, an effort to normalize state administration following the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.

An earlier investigation on the LCT case by Busan prosecutors wrapped up on March 7 after seven months. This led to the indictment of 24 people mainly on charges of receiving bribes from Cheongan Construction CEO Lee Young-bok and his close aides, including Hyun Ki-hwan, former senior presidential secretary for political affairs, Rep. Bae Duk-kwang of the Liberty Korea Party and former Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik.

The Liberty Korea Party had earlier expressed “disappointment” with being the main target of the probe, claiming that it was “lopsided” because opposition lawmakers were not as thoroughly investigated as they were.

The floor leaders also agreed to revise the National Assembly Act, but did not decide on specifics, except that any changes to the current system would be applied in the 21st National Assembly, which begins in 2020.

Discussions on constitutional amendments were also ruled out of the Monday meeting.

All four of the parties, except the Democratic Party, the largest force in the parliament, had agreed last week to pass a bill revising the Constitution and then hold a referendum on it on May 9.

BY WI MOON-HEE [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]