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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 08:09 GMT
S Korean jailed over summit cash
A poster of Kim Dae-jung meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
The last administration admitted it knew what was happening
A former aide to ex-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung has been sentenced to 12 years in jail relating to a North Korean summit scandal.

Park Jie-won was found guilty of illegally sending money to North Korea ahead of a 2000 meeting, and taking 15bn won ($12.5m) from a major company.

The summit, seen as historic at the time, won Mr Kim the Nobel peace prize.

It is now known that the Hyundai group paid Pyongyang $500m just days before the meeting.

Six other people, including Lim Dong-won, a former intelligence chief under Mr Kim's government, were given suspended sentences in relation to the summit scandal earlier this year.

Mr Park, considered the most influential official in the former administration, was implicated in the transfer of the Hyundai money to North Korea by helping to arrange state bank loans to the conglomerate.

The Seoul district court argued that while Mr Park's belief that he was working for the peace of the Korean peninsula was a mitigating factor in this affair, he had only his personal interests in mind when he solicited and accepted a 15bn won bribe.

Earlier this year, Kim Dae-jung apologised to the nation for the scandal, admitting that the $500m was remitted to North Korea with the government's knowledge.

Critics have accused Mr Kim of buying the 2000 summit. He has argued that it was in the national interest.




SEE ALSO:
Political scandal dogs South Korea
02 Dec 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Hyundai chief found dead
04 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific
S Korea leader sorry for summit scandal
14 Feb 03  |  Asia-Pacific
'Seoul paid for summit with North'
30 Jan 03  |  Asia-Pacific



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