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  • 기사등록 2021-05-12 01:42:30
  • 수정 2021-05-12 01:55:41
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 At present in Korea, problems such as soaring house prices and overheated speculation in real estate are getting more intense day by day. Most policies that the government has introduced have caused side effects. Besides, as suspicion of speculation in real estate by employees of LH(hereinafter referred to as the LH situation) has been revealed, the present government has been criticized hard. Pharos will investigate through interviews what kind of stances the youth, especially university students, are taking regarding this situation.


Interview


Do you know what kind of business LH usually conducts?

Korean student - Yes, first of all, LH is the abbreviation for Korean Land & Housing Corporation. They build new cities and develop rural areas to construct new apartments for public rental housing businesses. They are in charge of the housing welfare of the Republic of Korea and also make profits running related businesses.

Spanish student - Yes, I know that LH is a fusion of Korea Land Development Corporation and Korea Housing Corporation, created in 2009 to avoid interfering in each other’s functions. I also know that it is a government-owned business that regulates the real estate market.


What do you think about the LH situation, which has recently become a major issue?

Korean student - I have very negative opinions on the LH situation. I am double majoring in Law, so I often look up legal provisions. One of the laws related to the LH situation is Article 22 of the ‘Korea Land and Housing Corporation Act’. It says executives and employees of LH shall not divulge or steal the secrets learned during their duties. If they disclose the secrets of the corporation, they may be punished by being imprisoned for up to one year and paying a fine of up to 10 million won under Article 28 that stipulates punishments. Despite these law clauses, some executives and employees committed obvious illegal acts.

Spanish student - I think, when this type of government-centered business is created, there will always be the risk of corruption. The government has no one above them to control their businesses, so they likely proceed with illegal actions. In my home country, Spain, the housing regulation is different from the Korean one. There is a legal framework that monitors the real estate market, but it is not government-oriented.


If the accusation that the employees acquired illicit profits turns out to be true, how would you feel about their punishment? Why would you feel that way?

Korean student - The timing when the LH executives and employees purchased land and built houses is only a month apart from the timing of redevelopment. Accordingly, I guess that the secret project was on the grapevine among the workers, and some people who heard the news got a loan to acquire the land. I think they should be punished severely.

Spanish student - The company is the one in charge of watching over the activities done by the employees. On the other hand, the employees must know how to behave properly in a public corporation.


What do you think caused the LH situation?

Korean student - I think it was caused by a pile of absurdities related to school ties regionalism, and blood ties. Also, I think the tip of the iceberg has only just exploded.

Spanish student - I think that we can find the root of the problem in the nature of LH business. Monopolies are risky because they are governed only by one company; thus, it’s really difficult to control the functioning of the corporation and limit their power. Therefore, I believe this situation was created because there are not enough laws that regulate this area of business.


What do you think about the direction that the government or the people should take in order to prevent such problems as the LH situation?

Korean student - First of all, I think that in order to root out this situation, we need to elect an auditor who is not relevant to the case and to monitor the real estate contracts. I also think it is important to introduce a system to monitor where retirees are re-employed so that they cannot use the culture of privileges from one’s former post. I think it is most important for the citizens to raise their level of consciousness in government departments and public corporations. Recently, many people are interested in political and social issues, but there seem to be more people who are not. We all need to pay attention to this situation because we can protect our rights only when the people watch the government and companies and actively express their opinions.

Spanish student - Although I’m not an expert on LH, I believe that to prevent this situation the government should free the market and establish new regulations by amending the Korean law.


Do you have any opinions you want to share about LH?

Korean student - There is an evaluation that showed LH has the lowest integrity among public corporations in Korea. Therefore, the government and LH should emphasize transparency in implementing public policies and educate employees not to practice elitism or privilege. In addition, if there is any information that has been reported before the recent controversy, it should not be ignored but carefully investigated.

Spanish student - The other day I read an article about suicide in the LH case. A senior official of the state housing developer was found dead. I think it’s interesting to understand how Korean culture manages corruption cases, which is really different from how Spain handles them. I have the impression that public opinion in Korea has a strong influence; which, in these extreme situations, it's threatening because people in vulnerable positions underg a lot of social pressure.


 As a citizen, we need to pay attention to the situation and think about the legal and ethical responsibilities that public officials should have. We should not only pay attention to the superficial events but also focus on finding the root cause of the problem and keep an eye on how the incident ends.



76th Cub Reporter Choi Bo Youn - invierno.y@kyonggi.ac.kr

76th Cub Reporter Jeong Seung Hye - nora28@naver.com

International Reporter Carla Navarro - carlatriola@gmail.com

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