President Kim Young-Sam publicly apologized for a major bribery scandal on Tuesday and declared he will banish one of his sons, allegedly involved in it, from social activities.
In a speech, Kim said the involvement of some of his close aides in the scandal makes him feel “extremely sad, grim and sorry.”
“As other fathers in this world, I consider my son’s fault to be my own,” he said.
Hanbo Steel Industry Co. went bankrupt Jan. 23 after racking up $6 billion in debt - 22 times the value of its collateral. The debt was incurred mostly in government-controlled bank loans.
Ten people were indicted last week on bribery charges linked to the loans.
Prosecutors cleared the president’s son, Kim Hyun-chul, who holds no government position but has often been criticized by the opposition for alleged influence-peddling.
The president said he will order his son to suspend all “social activity.” He did not elaborate, but the Yonhap news agency said Kim Hyunchul will be sent abroad to study.
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