South Korea Provides Example of How to Deal with the Swamp Corruption

South Korea’s politics have dominated news coverage in recent months, from Trump’s negotiated talks with North Korea to South Korea’s political reckoning of corrupt president Park Geun-hye. If South Korea can do the right thing and put their corrupt President in jail, then the U.S. should not hesitate to go after corruption at every level of government.

South Korean president Park Geun-hye faces 24 years in prison for corruption charges. The country’s first female leader was engaged in widespread corruption, and in South Korea, at least some of their leaders are held accountable.

In fact, South Korea and some of its companies have a deep history of corruption.

A major investigation by the Moon administration into Korea Aerospace Industries’ business practices in 2017 found alleged scandals from the company’s executives embezzling money and bribing politicians in the Park administration to cover up of significant flaws in a military chopper.

KAI underwent investigation in July on allegations that it may have manipulated research and development costs for its Surion helicopter. KAI was suspected of making excess profits by attracting government investments of $1.15 billion on the Surion project.

The Board Audit and Inspection of Korea (BAI) said the helicopter came up short in 29 of the 101 categories in testing to evaluate safety in winter conditions.

According to the Korea Times:

“The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) revealed that KAI officials illegally acquired 54.7 billion won ($48 million) by inflating development costs for the Surion helicopter. They, the BAI noted, set up their own companies outside the KAI and stole taxpayers’ money through business contracts with the KAI based on the fake costs.”

And the Korea Herald:

“Prosecutors have looked into the alleged fraud since the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea in 2015 implied KAI had extorted some 54.7 billion won ($48.1 million) in sum, partly by fabricating the source of investments from the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration in the development project of Surion. KAI claimed the money is not illicitly gained, citing the risk of brokering the investors.”

KAI, which works with Lockheed Martin on the T-50 trainer, underwent a raid from 100 prosecutors and investigators on their offices. They reportedly found that KAI had allegedly purchased and installed an eraser program possibly to delete evidence left on computers and electronic devices. Five of KAI’s subcontractors underwent a raid within days of the previous raid. Prosecutors suspected KAI and its subcontractors colluded in embezzlement in the T-50 and Surion projects. A second raid of KAI’s headquarters also occurred to get more evidence of suspected price manipulation.

Some of these allegations have yet to be resolved, but it’s clear there are some serious questions surrounding some of South Korea’s top officials.
These reports overseas show that Hillary Clinton style rule bending is not just an American issue.

But at least South Korea has taken steps to drain their swamp. America should too, and Trump has shown he is willing if the rest of DC will get out of his way.

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