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Controversy Stirred Up by a Letter Opposing Pardon for SK Chairman
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Controversy Stirred Up by a Letter Opposing Pardon for SK Chairman
  • By Michael Herh
  • July 6, 2017, 05:45
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From the left are SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won and his wife Roh So-yeong, director of Nabi Art Center.
From the left are SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won and his wife Roh So-yeong, director of Nabi Art Center.

 

It has been found that Roh So-yeong, wife of SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won, sent then President Park Geun-hye a letter telling Park her intention to take issue with a presidential pardon for her husband SK Group chairman Chey in honor of Liberation Day in August 2015. The reasons for her opposition to the pardon were disclosed on July 2, arousing controversy.

"Even if Choi is pardoned and released, it will not help the Korean economy at all," Roh wrote as the main reason for her objection to the pardon, according to domestic reports. She added that chairman Chey Tae-won was not in good terms with Chey Jae-won, his younger brother and vice chairman of the SK Group so it might intensify a fight between the two.   

Moreover, Roh mentioned even the name of a mistress of chairman Chey, saying that the mistress’ close associates were taking part in SK Group management. "It is necessary for Choi to stay behind bars for some time to become a new person," Roh said at the end of the letter. “The president should give chairman Chey a chance to transform himself into a new person and reflect on himself rather than release him.

According to the reports, Roh neither confirm nor deny the letter. In spite of Roh’s letter at that time, Chairman Chey was pardoned first among businesspeople subject to pardons.

On the other hand, Chey Tae-won, who accompanied President Moon’s visit to the US for a Korea-US summit meeting as a member of the Korean economic delegation to the US, signed MOUs on strengthening strategic ties with General Electric (GE) and Continental Resources on June 28 (local time). The SK Group announced that they will invest 1.8 trillion won (1.6 billion) in the US in the fields of energy and resources development for five years.