Chief prosecutor to file lawsuit over extramarital child report

SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Yonhap) -- The nation's chief prosecutor said Thursday that he will file a lawsuit against a local daily, demanding that it issue a correction on reports of him having a child through an extramarital affair.

Chosun Ilbo, the country's largest-circulation daily, published an article last week that Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook fathered an illegitimate son in 2002 with a woman he met in 1999.

"(I) will file a lawsuit against Chosun Ilbo to demand a correction in the news report," Chae was quoted as saying by a prosecution office spokesman.

Chae has called the report "groundless" and said he will also consider taking additional measures such as a paternity DNA test as soon as possible to "reveal the truth," according to Koo Bon-sun.

The conservative daily reported on Friday that Chae, who is married with one daughter, had a son out of wedlock who had attended a private elementary school in Seoul before departing for the United States in late August.

Days after the allegations emerged, the boy's mother on Tuesday denied the report and claimed she used the influential official's name to protect her son from neighbors who might discriminate him for being a child of a single mom.

The 54-year-old woman -- only identified her surname Lim -- made the claim in a letter sent to liberal daily Hankyoreh.

Lim said she came to know the chief prosecutor when he visited a bar that she owned in the southern port city of Busan. Chae was serving as a lower-level prosecutor in the same city at that time.

They have met for several times since then, but their relationship was nothing more than a friendship between a bar owner and a regular customer, she claimed.

Meanwhile, the prosecution office said Thursday it is mulling over filing a separate suit against Chosun Ilbo if it does not publish the correction as early as possible.

"(The report) is not only a personal matter but largely influences the prosecution office in terms of the organization's morale," a prosecutor said.

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