S. Korean prime minister announces follow-up measures to LH speculation scandal

Posted on : 2021-03-15 16:50 KST Modified on : 2021-03-15 16:50 KST
LH employees will be banned from buying real estate for purposes other than actual use
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun attends a ministerial meeting on Sunday to discuss follow-up measures to the LH scandal. (Yonhap News)
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun attends a ministerial meeting on Sunday to discuss follow-up measures to the LH scandal. (Yonhap News)

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun has promised reform of the Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LH) and that LH employees will be banned from acquiring land for purposes other than actual use.

At a press conference held at the Central Government Complex in Seoul on Sunday, Chung announced that the “elimination of LH speculation and corruption is the start of the liquidation of deep-rooted evil in real estate.” He also said that the government would continually manage, monitor and prevent speculation through the establishment of an information system that manages land possessed by employees.

The prime minister further emphasized that the government will investigate land owned by employees before areas are designated for new development and “if any illegal speculation or suspicious activity is found, employees will be dismissed from their posts, and may face [criminal] punishment following an investigation.”

Chung also promised the strengthening of a system to monitor “internal information,” the creation of personnel measures and legal sanctions to be used in response when information is leaked, and the establishment of an “ethics and compliance team.”

Chung also spoke in regard to the 20 people suspected of property speculation identified through the first stage of an investigation of 14,000 employees at LH and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which was conducted by a government task force. He said that the government will quickly move forward with measures to forcibly sell-off farmland depending on the results of the investigation.

Chung also promised to present a plan to eliminate farmland speculation, saying that the government “will now ensure thorough and strict preliminary and post facto management of farmland acquisition so that speculators no longer treat farmland as prey for speculation.”

Chung added, “Along with a thorough review of farm management planning documents, [the government] will ensure that areas where speculation is a concern undergo a review by farmland [management] committees.”

Chung further noted that the government will ensure speculation is eliminated by strengthening the farmland management system through requiring land use investigations of newly acquired farmland and strengthening punishments of illegal behavior.

By Lee Ji-hye, staff reporter

Please direct comments or questions to [english@hani.co.kr]

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