The Korea Herald


PPP investigates Daegu mayor Hong Joon-pyo's golf outing during downpours

By Yonhap

Published : July 18, 2023 - 21:20

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Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo is surrounded by reporters at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap) Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo is surrounded by reporters at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

The ruling People Power Party is looking into criticism that Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo played golf over the weekend when the country was grappling with major damage and casualties from heavy downpours, a spokesperson said Tuesday.

The investigation was ordered by party leader Kim Gi-hyeon and depending on the outcome, Hong could be referred to the party's ethics committee for disciplinary measures if he is found to have violated party regulations.

"The party is taking this issue very seriously," Rep. Kang Min-kuk said after the party's leadership meeting. "We should first determine what happened through the investigation, and then there are going to be discussions about follow-up measures."

Later in the afternoon, the party's ethics committee said it will convene Thursday to decide on its own whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Hong.

Hong played golf for one hour Saturday before play was suspended due to rain. Critics say it was inappropriate for a public servant to be playing golf at a time when the country was struggling with massive damage caused by the heavy rains.

The mayor claimed he did nothing wrong, saying there was no report of damage in Daegu at the time and he has the right to do whatever he wants during personal hours.

"At a time like this, we need to be careful about what we say and do," PPP leader Kim said during a party meeting. "Not only lawmakers of our party but also regional party officials, municipality heads and government officials should try to make sure not to cause trouble with inappropriate words and deeds."

Kim Byung-min, a member of the PPP's Supreme Council, also criticized Hong.

"As a representative of the people, he is supposed to dedicate himself more than others during a national disaster, but he failed to fulfill his responsibility, and moreover, he is making people frown by demonstrating an unapologetic attitude even after becoming the subject of social criticism," he said.

Heavy rains pummeled South Korea over the weekend, leaving at least 44 people dead, including the victims of a flooded underpass in the central town of Osong-eup, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, and six others still missing. (Yonhap)