Nearly 18 percent of high-ranking officials in the Park Geun-hye administration and lawmakers saw their assets rise above 100 million won ($935,000) last year, a state report showed on Friday.
Up to 18.2 percent of 2,339 senior officials at government branches said their assets grew significantly, with most of them serving in the judicial branches, according to the Government Public Ethics Committee.
On average, 60.8 percent of high-ranking civil servants and lawmakers held more assets than the previous year despite a prolonged delay in economic recovery.
The wealth of the officials in the report averaged 1.32 billion won, excluding four lawmakers whose assets were valued at more than 50 billion won each.
Chun Hye-kyung, director general of the National Institute of Crop Science under the Rural Development Administration, was the wealthiest among those reported, with assets of 32.9 billion won, up 562 million won from 2012.
The survey is conducted every year on all senior-level officials and lawmakers under the country’s anti-corruption law. That includes President Park Geun-hye, whose personal assets totaled 2.83 billion won in 2013, up about 274 million won from the previous year.
The committee explained that the increase reflects a surge in property values and personal savings. In 2013, the appraised value of land in Korea soared 3.41 percent on average.
The wealth of ministerial level officials remained relatively unchanged, with Prime Minister Chung Hong-won holding assets of 1.8 billion won, up 2.4 million won from the previous year.
The net worth of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who was the poorest of high-ranking civil servants in the 2013 report, dropped by 91 million won last year.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org