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S. Korea ex-dictator family vows to pay fortune in fines

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The family of former South Korean dictator Chun Doo-Hwan promised Tuesday to pay millions of dollars in remaining fines imposed for bribes the disgraced military strongman took while in office.

Chun's eldest son, Chun Jae-Kook, announced a list of assets the family would put up for sale to settle the outstanding sum, estimated at around 167.2 billion won ($154 million).

Chun Doo-Hwan, now 82, seized power after the 1979 assassination of longtime military ruler Park Chung-hee. His eight-year rule was noted for the corruption of his administration and mass pro-democracy protests.

In a judgement confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1997, Chun was convicted of insurrection and corruption and ordered to pay 220 million won in restitution to the state.

He only returned a small portion of the sum, arguing that he did not possess the cash or assets to pay the rest.

In recent months, his family has come under intense legal pressure to come up with the remaining sum, and Chun Jae-Kook publicly apologised on Tuesday for the delay.

"I feel sorry for being late in resolving the issue ... even though my father told me to cooperate with the authorities as much as I can," Chun told reporters outside the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office.

He announced a list of assets to be sold, including valuable art works and the large house in Seoul where Chun Doo-Hwan and his wife live.

Prosecutors recently arrested Lee Chang-Seok, a brother-in-law of Chun, on tax evasion charges and questioned the former president's second son, Jae-Yong, over his possible involvement in Lee's case.

President Park Geun-Hye, the daughter of Park Chung-Hee, has chided her predecessors in the Blue House for not pushing Chun to pay the rest of his fine.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130910/s-korea-ex-dictator-family-vows-pay-fortune-fines