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President is worth 1.82 billion won

Aug 26,2017
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President Moon Jae-in owns 1.82 billion won ($1.62 million) in assets including 800 million won in apartments - some located in his hometown of Yangsan, South Gyeongsang province - and 867.8 million won worth of bank deposits in his own name, his wife’s and his mother’s.

But among top government officials whose personal holdings were released on Friday, the president’s chief policy adviser Jang Ha-sung topped the list with 9.32 billion won.

The Ministry of Interior and Safety disclosed the value of the personal holdings of top government officials including Blue House secretaries, ministers and deputy ministers Friday.

Under the public service ethics law, high ranking government officials have to report their personal assets within two months of taking office or when they change their positions.

The assets reported include the personal holdings of the government official and his spouse, parents and children.

Children of government officials, however, can refuse to disclose assets if they are economically independent.

Among the 9 billion won in assets of the president’s chief policy adviser, who is a former economics professor at Korea University, Jang owned nearly 5.4 billion won in securities while the family’s bank deposits amounted to 2.3 billion won. Several apartments and housing units registered under his name, his wife and a son in Atlanta were valued at a combined 1.36 billion won.

Within the Blue House Cho Kuk, senior secretary for public affairs and a former law professor at Seoul National University, ranked second to Jang with personal holdings amounting to nearly 5 trillion won.

Cho has 2 billion won in deposits and owns a 1 billion won building as well as 850 million won in securities.

Figures with modest amounts of assets included the president’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok and senior secretary for social innovation Ha Seung-chang.

Im, a former Democratic Party lawmaker and former student activist, only had 434 million won in assets. The biggest is an apartment in his wife’s name in Eunpyeong District in northern Seoul worth 444 million won. He only had 75 million won in his family’s bank accounts and 16.5 million won in securities. He also has a 94 million won mortgage.

The Blue House official with the smallest portfolio was the president’s senior secretary for social innovation Ha Seung-chang, valued at 310 million won. Ha, a former deputy major of Seoul, reported 410 million won in real estate assets but also reported debt amounting to 282.8 trillion won.

The personal holdings of other top government officials including Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon will be disclosed later.

The Government Public Ethic Committee will investigate the disclosures if there are suspicions that they are incomplete or understated.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]