S. Korea's former Pres. Chun's family to pay millions of dollars to gov't

The family of South Korea's former President Chun Doo Hwan said Tuesday it will pay off millions of dollars to the government as Chun was convicted of accepting bribes while in office in the 1980s.

"I am sorry for being late in repaying the fines because of my lack of virtues and other obstacles even if my father told me to fully cooperate with the authorities," Chun's eldest son Jae Kook told reporters.

Chun was ordered by the Supreme Court in 1997 to return to state coffers around 220 billion won ($202 million) he illegally accumulated through bribes from big businesses during his military rule from 1980 to 1988.

Out of the total, Chun, who seized power through a military coup, has yet to return some 167.2 billion won to the state.

His son announced a list of family assets worth 170.3 billion won that will be returned to the state through the prosecution, with the amount slightly surpassing the fines Chun was to repay.

"I am offering my whole-hearted apology to you for causing concerns because of the matter of repaying the fines," Chun told reporters.

The announcement came as the prosecution launched an extensive probe into the family recently, arresting Lee Chang Seok, a brother-in-law of the ex-president, on tax evasion and questioning his second son, Jae Yong, over his possible involvement in Lee's case.

He was the first relative of the former president to stand trial since prosecutors restarted efforts to reclaim hidden assets of the former military dictator this year.

Meanwhile, former President Roh Tae Woo, Chun's close friend from the military and successor, finally cleared last week the remaining 23 billion won in unpaid fines incurred by corruption in office and other crimes.