Cold Comfort

As we approach the Year of the Rooster, here are two questions that nobody in South Korea is asking (publicly, at least):

  1. What did the National Intelligence Service know about Choi Soon-sil, and when did they know it?
  2. Which Japanese corporations contributed funds to Choi’s K-Sports and Mir Foundations (or her other businesses) in exchange for South Korea’s acquiescence in the December 2015 comfort women agreement?

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At the moment, the first question is still too dangerous to ask.  There’s a presidential election coming up, and none of the potential aspirants for office wants to rouse that particular tiger from his den. Right now NIS seems to be layin’ low in domestic affairs and emphasizing its regional threat assessment responsibilities.  Between PRC reaction to THAAD deployment and DPRK’s missile program, they should be plenty busy.

Asking the second question doesn’t carry quite the same risks, but it seems no one has thought to ask it.  Most people in South Korea consider the agreement to be a shamefully inadequate “resolution” of Japan’s wartime human trafficking crimes, and yet nobody has wondered why Park Geun-hye would have consented to such unequal terms.  Is Choi Soon-sil the key to this mystery?

ROK prosecutors are currently focusing their efforts (and rightly so) on the Korean corporations which were extorted by/bribed Choi.  However, should we not also consider the possibility that Choi was shaking down foreign companies as well?  Investigators are undoubtedly looking very closely at bank records and financial transactions linked to Choi and her coterie.  They’ve been to Germany: how about taking a peek across the East Sea?

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