EDITION : English/Korean


LH Overhaul To Be Done After Corruption Issue, Prime Minister Says

by Jay Ahon / Mar 16, 2021 05:20 AM EDT
An aerial view of a residential properties in a South Korean province.

Amidst the current scandal involving officials at the Korea Land & Housing Corp.(LH), Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, on Sunday, vowed to complete the overhaul at the LH to prevent its officials from committing misconduct just like the recent real estate scandal which involves its officials.

The Prime Minister said that an internal monitoring system had been made to prevent LH officials from "sharing and leaking insider information" on the development projects to avoid them from speculatively purchase properties.

The LH has been under fire after officials and employees have allegedly used insider information to purchase properties in Gwangmyeong and Shiheung, designated areas where about 70,000 new housing will be built. LH is the one that manages and oversees the country's public housing and development projects.

Relevant government ministries are set to discuss reform for the housing department this week as police and prosecution are pacing up the investigation on the corruption scandal.

One of the considered reform plans is for the LH to maintain its responsibility on land planning, including new town zones development, supplying of new homes; however, they will no longer oversee the actual projects, and the role will be hand over to the respective regional corporations.

Despite the ongoing scandal in Housing Corp., South Korean President Moon Jae-in seemed to affirm the validity of the housing plan, saying that the public-led housing supply plan still needs to be completed for at least up to the stage of drafting legislation.

On Friday, Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Minister Byeon Chang-heum had offered his resignation to the President. He was LH's chief executive officer from April 2019 to December 2020, right before he was appointed in his ministerial position.

Over the week, President Moon's approval rating went down to 35.5 percent while his political party's rating went down to 30.1 percent, and the whole LH fiasco was seen to be the reason behind the fall.

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