Allegations still hanging over BOK chief nominee

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 19, 2014 - 19:51
  • Updated : Mar 19, 2014 - 19:51
Lawmakers failed to shed light on allegations made against Lee Ju-yeol, the nominee to head Korea’s central bank, during their confirmation hearing Wednesday.

As a result, suspicions regarding the compulsory military exemption of his son remain.

Aides of the Bank of Korea nominee have argued that his 32-year-old son, who is a medical doctor, was exempted from military service due to damage to a ligament in his leg that he sustained while playing basketball in his 20s.
Lee Ju-yeol, nominee for governor of the Bank of Korea, speaks during his parliamentary hearing at the National Assembly on Wednesday. (Lee Gil-dong/The Korea Herald)

While the aides said Lee’s son had been seriously injured, some critics still allege that the “emergency surgery” was conducted about one month after his injury.

An online news provider has cited a military medical report for the conscription, saying that “there were no records of Lee’s son, such as addresses, jobs and the date of the initial diagnosis.”

Lee, did not comment on his son’s situation.

Another allegation is that Lee and his wife increased their wealth through deposits at savings banks even though he served as one of the few senior policymakers who issued sanctions against corrupt savings banks in 2012.

Lee is said to have reported his total assets at around 1.4 billion won ($1.3 million) in 2012 when he was the senior deputy governor of the BOK. They include an apartment in Dongjak-gu, southern Seoul, and bank deposits, including those held by his wife and daughter.

Lee and his wife reportedly hold approximately 355 million won in savings in eight different saving banks.

Meanwhile, Lee has expressed his skepticism over policies of his predecessor Kim Choong-soo. He said the central bank has failed to appropriately communicate with the market about its monetary policy.

Lee is the first nominee for governor of the BOK to go through a parliamentary confirmation hearing, owing to a change to a related law in 2012.

By Kim Yon-se (