Park’s chief of staff files libel suit against reporter

December 8, 2014
Chief of staff Kim Ki-choon at parliamentary hearing (Yonhap)

Chief of staff Kim Ki-choon at parliamentary hearing (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — President Park Geun-hye’s chief of staff filed a libel suit against a reporter of one of South Korea’s major newspapers, an official said Monday, the latest in a series of legal actions over a scandal that smacks of a power struggle.

Kim Ki-choon took the step through a lawyer over a report in Monday’s edition of the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper, which said Kim had ordered officials to look into allegations that he could be replaced.

Kim said he did not order officials to launch a probe into the allegations, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook told reporters.

The move came more than a week after the local daily Segye Times reported allegations that Jeong Yun-hoe, who served as chief secretary to Park during her term in parliament, interfered in state affairs, citing an internal document of the presidential office dated Jan. 6.

The document leaked from the presidential office shows that Jeong, who currently holds no government position, regularly met with key presidential officials outside of their office and abetted them to oust the presidential chief of staff, according to the Segye Times.

On Sunday, Park openly denied the allegations, saying that it’s shameful that the whole nation is roiled by such an absurd story.

Jeong plans to appear in the prosecutors’ office on Wednesday for questioning over the allegations, according to his lawyer. Jeong has also filed a libel suit against three reporters of the Segye Times over the allegations.