The prosecution said Sunday that it had launched an investigation into possible hiring irregularities at telecom company KT involving the son of Hwang Kyo-ahn, chairman of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party.
The minor Minjung Party’s youth branch filed a complaint against the Liberty Korea Party leader for alleged obstruction of business, claiming that his son was hired by the country’s largest telecom company because of Hwang’s position.
The complaint was filed after Hwang cited his son as an example of a job seeker hired by a conglomerate despite lacking the proper “spec.” “Spec” stands for specifications and refers to academic records and extracurricular activities, among others.
During a lecture at a university on June 21, Hwang said a conglomerate hired his son, though he had a below-3.0 GPA and TOEIC score of about 800. Hwang said he had meant to stress the importance of “special qualifications” rather than educational background, grades or English test scores, but that did not contain the public backlash that followed.
Hwang’s son studied law at Yonsei University and joined KT in 2011, beating the odds of one in 87.
The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office has assigned the case to a team investigating suspicions that the daughter of Rep. Kim Sung-tae, floor leader of the then-ruling Liberty Korea Party, had received preferential treatment in the hiring process at KT due to her family background.
There were nine cases of hiring irregularities at KT in 2012, according to the prosecution. Its former Chairman Lee Suck-chae is on trial for suspected involvement in the irregularities.
KT’s labor union has also raised allegations that Hwang’s son was treated preferentially at KT due to his father’s position.
It took issue with the fact that the junior Hwang was transferred from the marketing team to the legal team in 2013, when Hwang was appointed justice minister.