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University heads to attend audit regarding controversies surrounding first lady

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Oct. 19, 2022 - 14:49

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First lady Kim Keon-hee attends a charity event held in southern Seoul, Tuesday (Yonhap) First lady Kim Keon-hee attends a charity event held in southern Seoul, Tuesday (Yonhap)

The heads of Kookmin University and Sookmyung Women’s University will attend a National Assembly audit on Friday over controversies surrounding first lady Kim Keon-hee.

After missing out on an audit held earlier this month, citing overseas business trips, Lim Hong-jae and Jang Yoon-geum, the heads of Kookmin University and Sookmyung Women’s University, respectively, will attend the parliamentary audit to address allegations of plagiarism and false career history concerning the first lady.

With both university heads attending the event, the two rival parties are to clash over controversies surrounding Kim.

However, professor Jeon Seung-kyu from Kookmin University, who was an adviser for Kim, has refused to attend the audit, citing health issues.

Jeon was an adviser for Kim’s doctoral dissertation paper that sparked controversy across the nation for misinterpreting "membership retention" as "member Yuji" as "yuji" is the Korean word for "retention."

The opposition party argued the committee should take legal action mandating Jeon’s attendance at the audit.

“Jeon said he has been hospitalized for spinal stenosis. But this is an act to avoid the audit,” Rep. Kang Min-jung from the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea said. “He should attend the audit even in a wheelchair to tell the truth in front of the public.”

Kang said the court should issue a warrant to force Jeon’s attendance if he failed to show up on Friday.

The ruling party, on the other hand, claimed the parties did not agree on calling Jeon as a witness and the main opposition party decided on the list of witnesses unilaterally.

"We have not agreed on calling Jeon as a witness," Rep. Lee Tae-kyu from the People Power Party said. "The opposition party should not make claims on this."

A previous parliamentary audit held in early October focused on Kim and controversies surrounding her. The main opposition party argued it was difficult to look into the case without major witnesses in attendance.

Though the National Assembly’s Education Committee summoned 11 figures to the audit, the heads of Kookmin University and Sookmyung Women’s University refused to show up, saying they were abroad on business trips.

“It is against the law to refuse to witness at the Nation Assembly audit citing last-minute plans,” the lawmakers from the Democratic Party under the Education Committee said at the time. “It shows what has happened at their universities is insane and they are unwilling to reveal that to the public.”

The lawmakers said the committee will consider issuing a warrant of accompanying which requires mandatory attendance of the witness.

The heads of Kookmin University and Sookmyung Women’s University will attend a National Assembly audit on Friday over controversies surrounding first lady Kim Keon-hee.

After missing out on an audit held earlier this month, citing overseas business trips, Lim Hong-jae and Jang Yoon-geum, the heads of Kookmin University and Sookmyung Women’s University, respectively, will attend the parliamentary audit to address allegations of plagiarism and false career history concerning the first lady.

With both university heads attending the event, the two rival parties are to clash over controversies surrounding Kim.

However, professor Jeon Seung-kyu from Kookmin University, who was an adviser for Kim, has refused to attend the audit, citing health issues.

Jeon was an adviser for Kim’s doctoral dissertation paper that sparked controversy across the nation for misinterpreting "membership retention" as "member Yuji" as "yuji" is the Korean word for "retention."

The opposition party argued the committee should take legal action mandating Jeon’s attendance at the audit.

“Jeon said he has been hospitalized for spinal stenosis. But this is an act to avoid the audit,” Rep. Kang Min-jung from the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea said. “He should attend the audit even in a wheelchair to tell the truth in front of the public.”

Kang said the court should issue a warrant to force Jeon’s attendance if he failed to show up on Friday.

The ruling party, on the other hand, claimed the parties did not agree on calling Jeon as a witness and the main opposition party decided on the list of witnesses unilaterally.

"We have not agreed on calling Jeon as a witness," Rep. Lee Tae-kyu from the People Power Party said. "The opposition party should not make claims on this."

A previous parliamentary audit held in early October focused on Kim and controversies surrounding her. The main opposition party argued it was difficult to look into the case without major witnesses in attendance.

Though the National Assembly’s Education Committee summoned 11 figures to the audit, the heads of Kookmin University and Sookmyung Women’s University refused to show up, saying they were abroad on business trips.

“It is against the law to refuse to witness at the Nation Assembly audit citing last-minute plans,” the lawmakers from the Democratic Party under the Education Committee said at the time. “It shows what has happened at their universities is insane and they are unwilling to reveal that to the public.”

The lawmakers said the committee will consider issuing a warrant of accompanying which requires mandatory attendance of the witness.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)