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Lee Jae-myung’s wife apologizes in regards to ‘gapjil’ controversy

Kim Hye-kyung, the wife of presidential nominee Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, bows to apologize during a press conference held Wednesday afternoon. (Joint Press Corps)
Kim Hye-kyung, the wife of presidential nominee Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, bows to apologize during a press conference held Wednesday afternoon. (Joint Press Corps)
The wife of presidential nominee Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea offered an official apology in person Wednesday in regards to allegations of power abuse while her husband served as the governor of Gyeonggi Province before entering the presidential race.

Kim Hye-kyung appeared before reporters Wednesday afternoon and bowed to apologize, saying she has failed to draw distinctions between public and private lives, adding she will take responsibility for any outcome of the investigations on the controversy.

“As the wife of a public official, I should have drawn a line between public and private matters, but I fell short of that insight,” she said.

“I will take responsibility for whatever needed. Through inspections and investigations, I will make sure the truth is found.”

She said it was Lee’s opinion to have her officially apologize before voters, adding she also offered official apology to the whistleblower who revealed evidence of her alleged abuse of power until Lee resigned from the gubernatorial post in October.

Kim is suspected of having Gyeonggi Provincial Government officials unlawfully assist her for her private matter.

Accusations include her and her husband using a provincial government vehicle for personal purposes, illegally hiring a driver as a hidden third assistant, as well as ordering employees to deliver food, clean her house and fetch prescribed medicine for her.

The controversy started on Jan. 28 with an unnamed official formerly assigned to the head of policy office while Lee was the governor revealed the first round of allegations to the press. Since then, the case has grown almost daily, and negatively affected Lee’s standing in the presidential race.

The source also revealed that members of the policy office did grocery shopping for Lee’s family with the corporate card issued for the governor’s office under the orders of Bae So-hyeon, a former official with the Gyeonggi Provincial Government who was superior to the source in rank and power.

Some provincial government employees were also used to deliver presents to Lee’s aides and relatives for holidays, and prepare food and other items for Lee’s memorial services.

An investigation for the matter is underway by the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Policy Agency, and a separate audit was announced to start within the Gyeonggi Provincial Government.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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