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One-third of senior public officials have over W2b in personal wealth: data

By Yonhap

Published : March 30, 2023 - 09:24

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Government Complex Sejong (Getty Images) Government Complex Sejong (Getty Images)

About one-third of the ranking public officials at the central government and state-run institutions have more than 2 billion won ($1.5 million) in personal wealth, an annual government report showed Thursday.

A total of 2,037 senior public officials declared an average of 1.94 billion won in personal assets as of the end of last year, with 31.3 percent holding assets worth over 2 billion won, according to the gazette compiled by the Government Ethics Committee.

It was compiled for the first time after last year's presidential and local elections.

By amount, 28.8 percent owned assets ranging between 1 to 2 billion won, followed by 18.8 percent whose assets were valued at 500 million won to 1 billion won and 17.1 percent whose assets were between 100-500 million won. Some 3.9 percent declared assets worth below 100 million won.

Seven in 10 officials said their assets increased from a year earlier, mostly due to a rise in property prices.

Under an anti-corruption law, senior officials at government agencies, public institutions and national universities, as well as heads of local governments, councils and education offices are required to report the status of their assets to the committee once a year.

The latest data was the first annual report compiled after last year's March presidential election and June local elections, which means that most of the officials who were required to report their assets were different from those who declared an average personal wealth of 1.62 billion won as of the end of 2021.

President Yoon Suk Yeol reported assets totaling 7.7 billion won, including a personal residence in southern Seoul and property and bank deposits owned by his wife.

Among presidential officials, Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, declared personal assets of 26.4 billion won, followed by deputy national security adviser Kim Tae-hyo with 13.1 billion won and senior presidential secretary for policy affairs, Lee Kwan-sup, with 7.5 billion won.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo reported personal wealth totaling 8.5 billion won. In the Cabinet, Science Minister Lee Jong-ho reported the most personal wealth, with his assets totaling 14.8 billion won.

Among all the officials who submitted their personal wealth data, Cho Sung-myung, the office chief of Seoul's Gangnam Ward, reported the most, with his assets totaling 53.2 billion won, which includes some 30 residential apartments.

The Government Ethics Committee will look into the data submitted by the officials until the end of June to inspect whether there were any irregularities in changes to personal wealth. (Yonhap)