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Blue House document trove bolsters evidence against Park

The previous administration appears to have looked closely into the Samsung Group’s succession, and may have taken steps to help Lee Jay-yong’s gain control of the group, documents revealed by Cheong Wa Dae showed Friday.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, about 300 documents were found in an unused cabinet in the office used by President Moon Jae-in’s civil affairs aides, and that the documents contain potentially incriminating information about Park Geun-hye administration’s interest in Samsung Group’s succession.

“These documents are deemed to be related to the so-called Choi Soon-sil state affairs manipulation case. Special counsel Park Young-soo attempted to search the previous government’s civil affairs secretary’s office but was not able to do so,” said Park Soo-hyun, President Moon Jae-in’s spokesman. 

Park Soo-hyun (Yonhap)
Park Soo-hyun (Yonhap)

Park said that the documents were produced under the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations, and that many of the documents were compiled by Woo Byung-woo -- a civil affairs secretary to former President Park Geun-hye on trial for his part in the scandal that ousted Park.

“With these documents having been found, copies will be handed over to the prosecution,” Park said, saying that copies of documents are not presidential records, the disclosure of which would require Assembly action.

According to Park, a handwritten memo found among the documents reads “Samsung’s management rights inheritance” followed by an arrow pointing to the words “use as an opportunity.”

“Determine what Samsung requires in passing on management rights, and help (Samsung) where possible. Seek ways for Samsung to contribute more to the country’s economy,” reads the memo, Park said.

“It is possible for the government to exert significant influence in resolving issues Samsung faces. Response to regulations regarding economic democratization, support (by) deregulating separation of finance and industry.”

Moon’s spokesman also revealed that included among the documents are outlines of plans to make the country’s culture and arts circles “wholesome.” The concerned documents also includes statements such as that most of the top civil servants in the Culture Ministry were “subject to review.”

Other issues dealt with in the documents include minister nominations between June 11, 2014 and June 24, 2015, the National Pension Service’s voting rights as a corporate shareholder, and local elections outlook.

Park also revealed the contents of a memo presumed to be written by late civil affairs secretary Kim Young-han.

The memo mentions “judges lenient on spies” and includes the words “replacement driver report to southern district-urge stringent investigation,” which Park interpreted as being related to the case of a replacement driver who was assaulted by members of a committee representing Sewol victims’ families.

The same memo also mentions directions for using “patriotic rightwing organizations” in a matter related to history textbooks.

By Choi He-suk (