To read this content please select one of the options below:

Chapter 9 South Korea

Curbing Corruption in Asian Countries: An Impossible Dream?

ISBN: 978-0-85724-819-0, eISBN: 978-0-85724-820-6

Publication date: 21 July 2011


The Hanbo (meaning Korean treasure) scandal or “Hanbogate” occurred on January 23, 1997, with the bankruptcy of Hanbo Iron and Steel Company, the second largest steel company and 14th largest conglomerate in South Korea, as its debt had accumulated to US$5.6 billion. Hanbo's bankruptcy triggered an investigation by the Public Prosecutor's Office that resulted in the imprisonment for 15 years of Hanbo's founder, Chung Tae-Soo, for bribing politicians and bankers to pressure banks to extend hugh bank loans to Hanbo. Nine other persons were also convicted including Chung's son, who was jailed for three years for bribery and embezzlement, and Kim Hyun-Chol, the second son of President Kim Young-Sam, who was sentenced to three years jail and fined US$1.5 million (New York Times, 1997).


Quah, J.S.T. (2011), "Chapter 9 South Korea", Quah, J.S.T. (Ed.) Curbing Corruption in Asian Countries: An Impossible Dream? (Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 307-340.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited