Park Geun-hye Under Fire for Disputes over Scholarship Foundation
Ruling Saenuri Party's presidential candidate Park Geun-hye is under fire for a press briefing on Sunday, where she addressed a recent controversy surrounding the Jeongsu Scholarship Foundation, which she headed for seven years until 2005.
Opposition camps have recently accused the foundation of trying to secretly help Park's presidential campaign,.. and Park responded on Sunday during a press conference, saying that she knows nothing about the foundation's current activities because she's NOT currently involved in making any of the foundation's decisions.
But she did add that the foundation has been run with integrity, with a sole aim of helping students who need financial support.
[Interview : Park Geun-hye, Presidential Candidate
Saenuri Party] "The suspicion that the foundation finances my political campaigns, or it helps the presidential election, is either coming out of the lack of understanding of the character of this foundation. or a political attack."
However, Sunday's press conference seems to have backfired, rekindling criticisms about her stance over her father's dictatorship.
The Jeongsu Scholarship Foundation was first established as the Bu-il Foundation back in the 1950s, by a businessman named Kim Ji-tae, to provide financial support to distinguished students.
In 1962, a year after a military coup gave power to Park Geun-hye's father, Park Chung-hee, the founder of the scholarship foundation, Kim Ji-tae was arrested for illegally accumulating wealth.
As a result, he ended up signing away his rights over the scholarship foundation.
The foundation was later renamed the "Jeongsu" Foundation, after Park Geun-hye's parents, the late president Park Chung-hee and his wife Yuk Young-su.
The opposition camps and family members of the late local businessman argued that it was a fact confirmed by the court that the military government seized the foundation, against the founder Kim's will.
But Park Geun-hye said on Sunday, that Kim had donated his foundation, because he was trying to avoid punishment for his corrupt activities.
Opposition leaders say that Park's remarks about the foundation demonstrate a lack of understanding about the Jeongsu Scholarship Foundation's history, and a lack of reflection regarding her father's political era.
Responding to these attacks, Park Geun-hye explained on Monday that her words were being misinterpreted, and added that the foundation's board should explain itself, regarding the recent suspicions.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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