93% of Koreans find corruption to be a serious problemUpdated: 2014-05-21 06:38:54 KST
One of President Park Geun-hye's key plans for making the nation a safer place to live is cracking down on corruption in both the government and private sectors.
It's an issue the Korean public feels strongly about.
In a public opinion survey conducted earlier this month by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, more than 93 percent of respondents said corruption was a serious problem.
Nearly half thought corruption was a more serious problem than it was a decade ago, and around 80 percent thought its was a major issue in both the public and private sectors.
So is their perception grounded in reality?
"Those numbers are going to be a little higher right now, because there are such a focus on corruption and the role it played in the recent tragedy. If we asked this question two months, three months, four months down the line, I think that number will reduce significantly. By significantly, 10 to 15 percentage points."
Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said poor law enforcement was the cause of pervasive corruption.
Meanwhile, fifty-four percent said they were opposed to so-called parachute appointments, that allow public sector officials to get jobs in industries they were once charged with regulating.
"If the pervasiveness of corruption in Korean society is widely acknowledged as a problem, what then is the solution in addressing it?"
"The laws I think to go after the people who are corrupt and going through bribery they are already on the books the problem is the enforcement. I think that is where the Park Geun-hye administration is really going to try to focus is on cracking down when they find incidences of it. It might not be a matter of creating new laws it's about enforcing old laws and making sure that people who take part it that are really come down hard upon so they don't want to do it again."
Friedhoff added that approximetly one-third of current sitting lawmakers in the National Assembly have been embroiled in cases of corruption.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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